Migration, Access to Health and EU’s New Economic Governance Regime

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 08:45
Oral Presentation
Sabina STAN, Dublin City University, Ireland, University College Dublin, Ireland
Roland ERNE, University College Dublin, Ireland
The paper argues that EU governance has importantly impacted on intra-European migrants’ rights to access health services. Thus, on the one side, EU’s traditional horizontal integration through the building of the single market has led to the development of European citizenship based on residence rather than ethnicity. This has the potential to enhance intra-European migrants’ rights to access healthcare across the EU. However, on the other side, the same single market integration has been accompanied by the diffusion of a neoliberal model of care where private actors and interests were given an increasingly important role in the delivery, management and funding of health services. This has led to privatisation becoming an important process affecting EU member states’ health services. Moreover, following the 2008 crisis, the EU’s New Economic Governance recommendations to make healthcare more ‘cost effective’ have increased the financial strain on a series of healthcare systems across the EU and have been accompanied by the acceleration rather than slow down of healthcare privatisation. In its turn, privatisation has led to both labour force segmentation among healthcare workers and inequalities of access to services among patients, processes that have also fuelled increased healthcare worker and patient mobility inside the EU. In the other direction, these mobilities have fed into the privatisation of health services, leading to a perverse cycle that deepens rather than diminishes the unevenness of the increasingly transnational European healthcare space.