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Patients' mobility in the European Union: an issue for decision making

Author(s): Filhon G | Tissier F | Cariou M | Eugène B

Journal: Pratiques et Organisation des Soins
ISSN 1952-9201

Volume: 43;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 285;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: European Union | health services accessibility | international cooperation | medical tourism | patient rights | public policy | insurance | health.

SummaryPatient mobility in the European Union (EU) highlights some key principles of European decision making process (internal market, free movement principles and the sovereignty of the Member States). To build regulations, the EU has to deal with those elements and try to find compromises. In the area of Social protection, the free movement principles which support the internal market are the legal basis for EU policies, which power is limited to the coordination of the actions of the Member States. The adoption of the Directive on cross-boarder healthcare shows how thin is the limit between European and National competences. This dimension is clearly underlined by the interaction between the actors during the decision making process and the debates between the European Commission, the Council, the European Parliament and Brussels interest representatives. Indeed, the most controverted topics were about Member States sovereignty: the composition of the Health insurance basket, the prior authorization for planned cross-border healthcare, etc. In this context, finding a compromise for the adoption of the Directive has become a stake for the institutional and political functioning of the EU. This article aims at providing a highlight of EU decision-making concerning health, in order to better understand the stakes and opportunities of the EU for the health systems of the Member States and European ensured people.Prat Organ Soins. 2012;43(4):285-294
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