The Impact of Cross-Border Patient Movement on the Delivery of Healthcare Services

Time, Date, Venue

18 February 2011, Friday 17.00-18.30

University College London

1st floor Exec-ed room, Engineering Front Building
("Malet place" in Google maps)


Motivated by a recent legislative discussion in the European Union about providing European patients with the freedom to choose the country they receive treatment, we use a queueing framework to analyze a game-theoretic model that captures the interactions among the patients, the providers, and the healthcare funders. We examine the impact of such “ free choice” on the healthcare systems of different countries in equilibrium. Under the assumption that each patient will always prefer to receive care at home when the waiting time is below her individual tolerance level, we show that cross-border patient movement can increase patient welfare and enable a larger number of patients to obtain access to care. However, it has a mixed effect on waiting times, reimbursement rates and the resulting costs of providing such increased levels of care.