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Durham University

Durham Law School

Staff profile

Publication details for Dr Barend van Leeuwen

Van Leeuwen, Barend (2016). The Doctor, the Patient, and EU Law: The Impact of Free Movement Law on Quality Standards in the Healthcare Sector. European Law Review 41(5): 638-654.

Author(s) from Durham


This article analyses the impact of the free movement provisions on quality of healthcare in the EU. The application of the free movement provisions in the healthcare sector has restricted the freedom of Member States to set their own medical standards. International scientific evidence has to be taken into account. This impact reaches beyond the provision of cross-border healthcare. As a result, patients who are unable to travel abroad also benefit from higher medical standards. Individual challenges to national legislation under the free movement provisions are more successful in improving medical standards than adopting uniform European standards. Without a genuine internal market for healthcare services, European minimum standards do not contribute to improving the quality of healthcare in the EU.