News Health and Consumer Affairs

Cross-border Healthcare Cooperation Agreement signed between Osakidetza and Centre Hospitalier Intercommunal de Côte Basque

2010 May 27

The Deputy Minister for Quality, Research and Health Innovation, Olga Rivera, and the Director of the Centre Hospitalier Intercommunal de Côte Basque, Michel Glanes, today signed a cross-border cooperation agreement for urgent healthcare.

Since early 2000, Osakidetza Emergency services and its French counterpart SAMU - SMUR (Mobile Medical Emergency Services - Emergency and Reanimation Medical Service of France) of the Côte Basque Hospital Centre have focused their cooperation on the provision of emergency services. These include attending to urgent health calls, the coordination of transfers, support in multiple victim situations and, in short, on urgent healthcare.

As a result, a technical plan has been drawn up with several protocols for joint interventions, set out in a document ratified by both parties today.

Since its creation, the Trans-Pyrenean Atlantic Conference has promoted conversations and exchanges between the Basque Government, the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, the General Council of the Atlantic Pyrenees, the Regional Council of Aquitaine, the Prefecture of the Atlantic Pyrenees and the Council of the Elected of the Basque Country. The priorities set out in their agreement focus on the field of health cooperation.

The Atlantic Trans-Pyrenean Conference has allowed this decision-making framework to come into force through the intervention on the one hand of the Health and Consumer Affairs Department of the Basque Government and the Regional Health Agency of Aquitaine on the other.

Within this framework, Olga Rivera, Deputy Minister for Quality, Research and Health Innovation of the Basque Country and Nicole Klein, Director General of the Regional Health Agency of Aquitaine, have highlighted the importance of a day dedicated to cross-border cooperation, which has culminated in the signing of an urgent health care cooperation agreement between the Côte Basque Hospital Centre and the Osakidetza Emergency organisation. The ceremony was also attended by Mr Philippe Rey, Prefect of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Mr Jean-Jacques Lasserre, on behalf of the Governing Committee of the Trans-Pyrenean Atlantic Conference.


The agreement aims to improve urgent health care on both sides of the border with the aim of eliminating or minimising the "border effect", and to provide rapid, quality care.

The agreement focuses on four areas:

1.- Urgent health calls. Improve the reception and attention given to calls, which on occasions are made in the neighbouring country, through the interconnection of both countries, between the Samu 64A Reception Centre of Bayonne and the medical coordination centre of Gipuzkoa.

2.- Urgent outpatient care in the border area. Improve care, as well as providing urgent, on-the-spot assistance, facilitate subsequent transfer to the country of origin, allowing care to be continued in a centre in the territory of origin, or in the case of hospitalisation, transfers to a resource establishment in the territory of origin.

3.- Inter-hospital transfers. In the case of urgent hospitalisation, facilitate, if required, the transfer between hospitals to an establishment in the territory of origin.

4.- Collaboration between both systems in the case of an incident with multiple victims, in the border area.

Open new prospects for cross-border cooperation.

Moreover, this meeting has allowed those taking part to outline several areas of work dealing with the complementarity of existing health resources and the continuity of care.
It should be pointed out that since the ratification of the framework agreement between France and Spain on cross-border health cooperation of June 27, 2008, health authorities are free to develop cooperation agreements. These agreements will provide for a set of different types of intervention and patient care strategies.

Today's meeting represents a very important stage for cross-border cooperation in the area of health, as well as other matters currently being discussed by the Atlantic Trans-Pyrenean Conference, such as the prevention and reduction of risk in drug-related issues.

Bayonne, May 27, 2010.
For more information: Press Office 945 019 194

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