OSE Study "Health Care Reforms and the Crisis"

Brussels, 25 January 2015

The study "Health Care Reforms and the Crisis" has been commissioned by the ETUI and EPSU. It has been written by Stamati and Rita Baeten of the Observatoire Social Européen (OSE). The final version was published during January 2015. A full report - covering 10 EU MS countries (France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden and the UK-England) - and an ETUI Policy Brief have been issued. Both documents are available in EN only.

Quote from ETUI website:

"In recent years and more particularly in the wake of the financial crisis, widespread cost-reducing healthcare reforms have been enacted in Europe at national level subject to varying degrees of pressure from the EU. In countries hardest hit by the crisis, these reforms have had detrimental effects on access to care. A strikingly contradictory feature of the current situation is that, whereas fiscal consolidation policies focus on stronger public controls, the EU internal market rules have a creeping deregulatory effect on health systems.

This policy brief identifies the need for a more consistent healthcare agenda on the part of the EU and for more transparent and accountable procedures for its involvement in this field, taking due account of the basic objectives of healthcare systems."

- ETUI Policy Brief - in EN only

Quote from ETUI website:

"This report looks at the impact of the crisis on health care reform patterns in ten EU countries (France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden and the UK-England). It assesses the changing allocation of responsibilities for regulation, financing, and provision of health care, as well as the growing influence of EU governance on national health systems.

The work identifies a number of trends that affect subgroups of EU member states. It does however not find evidence that the EU is promoting national convergence towards a unique model. The report concludes that 'EU leverage' remains mainly limited to aspects of financial sustainability and cost-effectiveness and in most countries has not been as influential as that of domestic reform agendas. In the countries that entered financial assistance programs –Greece, Romania, and Ireland- such an emphasis on the health budget was complemented by real “imperatives” for cost containment and budget cuts."

- Full Report - in EN only