Cross-border patient mobility in the European Union: in search of benefits from the new legal framework

Baeten R.

Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, Volume 19, No.4, pp. 195-197, DOI: 10.1177/1355819614544202

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The number of patients within the European Union (EU) deliberately travelling to another EU Member State to receive planned health care is relatively small. People generally prefer to be treated as close to home as possible, with providers speaking their own language, surrounded by relatives and in a system they are familiar with. Patients do, however, prefer to be treated abroad when they are more familiar with the language, culture or health care system across the border or when the appropriate services abroad are nearer than similar services in their country of residence. This is typically the case of citizens living in sparsely populated border regions. Additionally, migrants often prefer to be treated in their countries of origin.

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