• The contribution of the proposed Action to wider deployment and take-up of the DSI. Where applicable, provide details about successive stages of deployment and the corresponding target groups.

The proposed Action by the University of Cyprus and the Ministry of Health will support Cyprus in achieving effective interoperability with other Member States, with the common aim of exchanging personal health data through the eHealth DSI.  Indeed, real-life deployment and take-up of the eHealth DSI depends on as many Member States as possible coming together and taking a common approach to the creation of the necessary generic services that will allow them to connect to the DSI’s core services and support the transfer of data that will deliver services to their target groups, which are those European Citizens who travel between Member States and who may need emergency health care while travelling, and/or the dispensing of ePrescriptions.  It is expected that there will be two or three waves of Member States that will prepare, implement, test, deploy and operate cross-border eHealth information services (Patient Summary and/or ePrescription).  The proposed activities will be grouped as follows:

1: Preparation and Implementation
2: Service Testing, Approval and Deployment
3: Operation
4: Dissemination, Training & Support
5: Governance & Management

  • How the proposed Action creates European added value. How the results are disseminated and how the service is advertised. How users are encouraged to make use of the service.

The proposed Action directly supports the freedom of movement of European citizens between Member States by facilitating the delivery of emergency medical care to citizens when they are in a Member State that is not their country of affiliation.  The target population for the Action consists of all the European citizens who travel between Member States.  Figures communicated by the European Commission to the Joint Action for support to eHealth Network (JAseHN) on 11th February 2016, based on the usage of the European Health Insurance Card, indicate that in one year more than 1.6 million EU citizens received treatment outside their home country.  In fact, the European Health Insurance Card system will constitute a very important channel for publicising cross-border eHealth information services.  Another important channel will be through national health portals, and through online patient access portals, through which consent for cross-border transfer may be obtained, at the same time as consent for other legitimate data sharing is gathered.

  • Where appropriate, describe how the proposed Action complies with European standards or open specifications and orientations on interoperability (e.g. the European Interoperability Framework) and how it capitalises on existing solutions.

The proposed Action builds directly upon the achievements of pilot projects that successfully tested the exchange of personal health data between Member States and developed related open specifications and software, in particular the epSOS project (www.epsos.eu) and the EXPAND project (www.expandproject.eu).  The European Interoperability Framework was a point of reference for these projects, and they also led to the development of the OpenNCP (https://openncp.atlassian.net/wiki/display/ncp/OpenNCP+Community+Home), which is an open-source software and community that is dedicated to the creation and use of software that directly supports the functions of an eHealth National Contact Point in EU Member States.  The OpenNCP software is found on Joinup (www.joinup.eu), a collaborative platform created by the European Commission and funded by the European Union that offers several services that aim to help e-Government professionals share their experience with each other.

  • Describe how the proposed Action will be sustained, developed and scaled up without EU funding after its end with a view to achieving long-term sustainability, where appropriate through funding sources other than the CEF.

The Proposed Action will support the establishment of the eHealth National Contact Point (NCPeH) in Cyprus.  The NCPeH is a relatively new concept; the CEF funding will help in establishing its specific organisational context, in line with the eHealth Network’s “Guideline on an Organisational Framework for eHealth National Contact Point”.  The CEF funding will also help it carry out the initial tasks that are necessary to implement cross-border eHealth information services, such as Testing, Dissemination and Training.  By the time the services are placed on a steady basis, it is expected that they will be well-integrated into the nationally-funded structures that provide ongoing operation, support, dissemination, management and evaluation of information services, and therefore will no longer require special funding through the CEF.

 To demonstrate the need of the proposed CEF eHealth services for the EU citizens visiting Cyprus and for the residents of Cyprus travelling in EU, the following 4 tables are given:

  • Table 3.1 EU CITIZENS Treated in the Emergency Rooms in the Public Hospitals in Cyprus in 2014
  • Table 3.2 Table 3.3 Arrivals of EU Tourists in Cyprus in 2015
  • Table 3.3 Residents of Cyprus Travelling in EU in 2015.

Unfortunately, there are no records on the numbers of foreign citizens who dispensed a prescription and their provenience country.

The numbers of foreign citizens treated in the Emergency Rooms in Cyprus in the public hospitals in 2014 are given in Table 3.1.  It is clearly shown that 4 countries correspond to 13754 visits to the Emergency Rooms or 92% of the total visits. These countries are: Bulgaria, Greece, UK, and Romania.  These countries have more than 3000 citizens (corresponding to more than 20% of the cases) per country visits to the Emergency Rooms.

Table 3.2 tabulates the arrivals of EU tourists in Cyprus in 2015.  It is noted that the tourist arrivals from UK are in excess of 1 million and this is reflected also in Table 3.1 with the emergency visits in UK to be the highest (3633 corresponding to 24.47% of all cases).  The tourists from Greece, Germany and Sweden are in excess of 108 thousands per country.

Table 3.3 tabulates the residents of Cyprus travelling in EU in 2015.  The 6 most popular destinations are given, with Greece and UK destinations to be the countries of choice for 466,086 and 186,857 visitors respectively.

Table 3.1

EU CITIZENS Treated in the Emergency Rooms

in the Public Hospitals in Cyprus in 2014

Origin Country Number Percentage
Croatia 8 0.05%
Austria 4 0.03%
Belgium 19 0.13%
Bulgaria 3010 20.11%
France 63 0.42%
Germany 100 0.67%
Denmark 8 0.05%
Greece 3447 23.03%
Estonia 31 0.21%
UK 3663 24.47%
Ireland 53 0.35%
Spain 20 0.13%
Italy 62 0.41%
Latvia 107 0.71%
Lithuania 71 0.47%
Luxembourg 1 0.01%
Malta 26 0.17%
Netherlands 31 0.21%
Hungary 81 0.54%
Poland 407 2.72%
Portugal 23 0.15%
Romania 3634 24.28%
Slovenia 8 0.05%
Sweden 73 0.49%
Finland 17 0.11%
Totals 14967 100.00%

Table 3.2

Arrivals of EU Tourists in Cyprus in 2015

Country of Usual    
Residence 2015 Percentage
EUROPE Totals 2,413,822 100.00%
   Belgium 22,668 0.94%
   Bulgaria 11,312 0.47%
   Croatia 724 0.03%
   Czech Republic 9,780 0.41%
   Denmark 25,338 1.05%
   Germany 112,219 4.65%
   Estonia 3,299 0.14%
   Greece 139,539 5.78%
   Spain 3,736 0.15%
   France 36,469 1.51%
   Ireland 2,983 0.12%
   Italy 16,298 0.68%
   Latvia 5,395 0.22%
   Lithuania 14,796 0.61%
   Luxembourg (1) 824 0.03%
   Hungary 11,214 0.46%
   Malta 4,736 0.20%
   Netherlands 29,334 1.22%
   Austria 32,017 1.33%
   Poland 43,380 1.80%
   Portugal 1,033 0.04%
   Romania 19,486 0.81%
   Slovenia 741 0.03%
   Slovakia 4,496 0.19%
   Finland 19,397 0.80%
   Sweden 108,605 4.50%
   United Kingdom 1,041,208 43.14%
Other  European 692,780 28.70%
   Iceland 307 0.01%
   Norway 46,650 1.93%
   Switzerland (2) 46,602 1.93%

Table 3.3

Residents of Cyprus Travelling in EU in 2015

(6 most popular destinations are given)

Country of visit Number
Greece 466,086
United Kingdom 186,857
Germany 33,822
Romania 36,682
Bulgaria 29,268
France 20,331