The Centre, through its research associate Dr Jim Jamison, is collaborating with research institutes in Britain, Spain, France, Belgium, Slovenia and Estonia in the EU Sixth Framework-funded Europe for Patients research project. The aim of this project is to enhance the ability of patients across the EU to benefit from the potential health care advantages created by an increasingly integrated Europe.
The project begins from the premise that an increasingly integrated Europe offers potential benefits to patients, through developments such as greater access to centres of excellence and actions that overcome existing trans-frontier imbalances between demand and supply. Yet for these benefits to be realised, there is still much to be done, in terms of co-ordination of legal, contractual, regulatory issues, and in the provision of enhanced information. These actions, in turn, require a better understanding of differences in how health systems operate, on a day to day basis, and of the practical obstacles to greater co-ordination that exist. The Project incorporates a major element of policy engagement and dissemination, building on a strong existing model in the European Observatory on Health Care Systems.
The research will be carried on two levels: Europe-wide initiatives and through in-depth case studies. Both perspectives will cover the following issues:
- Legal Framework at the EU and national level, including recent EU jurisprudence in relation to patient and provider mobility.
- Situational Analysis: patterns of patient mobility, contracting arrangements, patient orientation and information, communication between professionals, etc.
- Case Studies on cross-border arrangements, purchased care and long-term residents (Ireland, Belgium/UK, Spain, Slovenia/Austria, Estonia/Finland).
- Identification of options for change in terms of primary legislation and practical and monitoring arrangements related to patient mobility.