Edited by Neil Lunt, Daniel Horsfall and Johanna Hanefeld
Chapter 25: European retirement migration: access to health care and policy implications
There is a growing interest in European pensioners moving to other European Union Member States. Questions include how they adapt to their new country of residence, what are their motivations for migrating, what factors influence international retirement migration, and how can the various forms that this type of mobility takes be conceptualised? Yet there has been little research to inform these questions and, specifically, how pensioners access health care in their new country of residence. This chapter presents the European legal framework within which this group obtains health care. It then presents the findings of a qualitative study that explored the access to health care of British pensioners migrating to Spain. In this way it provides an understanding of the different pathways followed when accessing health care and how these chosen options were negotiated, including the factors that influenced the group’s decisions to choose either the public or private system. The chapter then presents a typology according to the type of care that this group decided to access. Following on from the findings of the study, the chapter concludes with policy recommendations that can help Europeans pensioners moving to another Member State.
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