Free Movement of Welfare? Legal developments in the field of


Free movement of services is a fundamental principle of EC Law. Healthcare is among those services which are granted free movement. In Sweden, healthcare has been regarded as a duty for the national health provider to supply for patients. In EC Law, health care is considered to be a right for individuals.

This report analyzes EC Law as it stands today and concludes that the law is relatively clear. A patient that is in the need of health care which is provided for outside hospital infrastructure (extramural care) has a free choice. The patient can either receive the health care by the national health system or he or she can travel abroad, subject to important qualifications addressed in the report. A patient does however not have an unqualified free choice to travel abroad to receive intramural care. The report also addresses the issue of abortion and the question of healthcare as a marketplace in the context of a “European social model”.

The report is a part of the research project The EU's Internal Market: Effects on Central Areas.

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