Searching for and using health care across borders: citizens and consumers in the European context

Project Details

Financing body

Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Jubiläumsfonds)


The research project focuses on the purposeful travel for treatment across borders, which has become a major issue in health care policies in Europe due to two crucial developments: On the one hand, an international medical travel market has emerged in the past decades that encourages patients from affluent countries with public universal health care systems, such as Austria, to travel abroad for demanding treatments as consumers. On the other hand, a recent EU Directive on planned cross-border health care has been implemented that enables patients to travel abroad as EU citizens and, under specific circumstances, to claim reimbursement for treatment costs. This project addresses the lack of systematic and comprehensive analysis of these developments in the European context and examines these against the background of present debates on “patient empowerment” and patients as “consumer-citizens” in health and public policies.
Effective start/end date15/02/1831/01/20