Quotation Diesenreiter, Carina, Österle, August. 2021. Patients as EU Citizens? The Implementation and Corporatist Stakeholders’ Perceptions of the EU Cross-border Health Care Directive in Austria. Health Policy. 125 (11), 1498-1505.




After a series of ECJ rulings, Directive 2011/24/EU was finally adopted to regulate access and reimbursement of planned health care in another member state. Several studies have analysed the Directive's implementation and impact on national health care systems around the time of the transposition. The case of Austria is particularly interesting. Along with Portugal, Poland, and Romania, Austria voted against the Directive, even though major elements were already in line with national legislation. This paper investigates the implementation of the patients’ rights Directive in Austria through the lens of public key stakeholders. The analysis goes beyond the legal implementation and traces the policy process from the Directive's adoption at EU level to the time after its national transposition. Based on a rigorous policy document analysis, the study discusses the reasons of Austria's initial denial of the Directive and addresses the perceived tensions in its application, both from a patient and health systems’ perspective. Results include the stakeholders’ critical opinion towards the Directive's ability to provide legal clarity and show that its practical application remains restrictive even years after transposition. By providing evidence from Austria and discussing the findings in the context of other country examples, this paper offers new insights into the role of EU health policy-making and the practical controversies concerning its implementation on national level.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Health Policy
Citation Index SSCI
WU-Journal-Rating new STRAT-B, WH-B
Language English
Title Patients as EU Citizens? The Implementation and Corporatist Stakeholders’ Perceptions of the EU Cross-border Health Care Directive in Austria
Volume 125
Number 11
Year 2021
Page from 1498
Page to 1505
Reviewed? Y
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthpol.2021.08.006
Open Access Y
Open Access Link https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168851021002177


Searching for and using health care across borders: citizens and consumers in the European context
Diesenreiter, Carina (Former researcher)
Österle, August (Details)
Institute for Social Policy IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5346 Economics of the health system (Details)
5911 Social policy (Details)
5942 European integration (Details)
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