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Time for a paradigm change? Incorporating transnational processes into the analysis of the emerging European health-care system

Time for a paradigm change? Incorporating transnational processes into the analysis of the emerging European health-care system

Stan, S. and Erne, R. (2021) 'Time for a paradigm change? Incorporating transnational processes into the analysis of the emerging European health-care system'Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research 27 (3): 289-302.

 

Abstract:

Health services have long been insulated from the process of European integration. In this article, however, we show that we are witnessing their re-configuration in an emerging EU health-care system. The article uncovers the structuring lines of this system by focusing on three interrelated EU-wide processes influencing the integration of national health-care systems into a larger whole. First, the privatisation of health-care services following the constraints of Maastricht economic convergence and the EU accession criteria; second, health-care worker and patient mobility arising from the free movement of workers and services within the European Single Market; and third, new EU laws and country-specific prescriptions on economic governance that the EU has been issuing following the 2008 financial crisis. The article shows that these processes have helped to construct a European health-care system that is uneven in terms of the distribution of patient access to services and of health-care workers’ wages and working conditions, but very similar in terms of EU economic and financial governance pressures on health care across EU Member States.

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