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The Patient in Free Movement Law: Medical History, Diagnosis and Prognosis

Van Leeuwen, Barend

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Free movement of patients has been criticised from the moment that the first patient cases reached the CJEU. The moving patient supposedly increases consumerism, reduces national solidarity and has a negative impact on the quality of healthcare provided in some Member States. This paper challenges the empirical foundations of such criticisms. An empirical analysis of all patient cases before the CJEU shows that a significant number of patients required urgent treatment, that their medical condition was life-threatening and that they were supported by their treating doctor in seeking treatment in another Member State. Moreover, free movement of patient cases regularly lead to positive changes to national healthcare systems. Therefore, the negative attitude towards free movement of patients should be reconsidered. Patients, doctors and lawyers have to think more strategically about how free movement can be used to improve the quality of healthcare in the EU.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 6, 2019
Online Publication Date Jul 16, 2019
Publication Date Dec 31, 2019
Deposit Date May 7, 2019
Publicly Available Date May 28, 2019
Journal The Cambridge yearbook of European legal studies.
Print ISSN 2049-7636
Electronic ISSN 2049-7636
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Pages 162-186
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Accepted Journal Article (197 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
This article has been published in a revised form in Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies This version is published under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND. No commercial re-distribution or re-use allowed. Derivative works cannot be distributed. © Centre for European Legal Studies, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge.

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