Health and Efficiency: Community Law and National Health Systems in the Light of Müller-Fauré

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In Müller-Fauré the Court of Justice has made clear that restricting patients to receiving medical services from their domestic health systems is often contrary to EC Treaty rules on the free movement of services, particularly where the treatment is not in-patient. The patient should generally be able to go abroad for treatment at the expense of their national health authority. This has structural and financial repercussions for health care systems in several Member States, including the United Kingdom, whose systems are premised upon captive patients. It also has broader implications for welfare harmonisation and provision in the European Union. Exceptions are possible, where the implications for the national health system would be very serious, but Müller-Fauré indicates that the Court will not allow national courts or authorities to rely on these too freely.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: *Faculty of Law, University of Groningen.

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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