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EC Calls for Tenders: Impacts of the Crisis on Access to Health Care


Brussels, 24 September 2013

Universal access to high-quality services of general interest is important in guaranteeing quality of life in Europe. In some Member States, reduced availability of resources for service providers has impacted access to quality services, because of increased waiting times, increased time it takes to get to the service provider, opening hours, delays in getting an appointment. The same holds for cost, not only because of increased co-payments and insurance fees, but also because of decreased incomes. Reduced access due to decreased ability to make informal payments has been reported to be widespread in several Member States.

The project will investigate the reduction of public expenditure on health and the impact on access to healthcare services and will further aim to identify initiatives which have reduced or mitigated the potential negative impact of austerity measures on access to healthcare services. While recognising that cuts in preventive healthcare budgets have been particularly large, and that they can lead to greater demand for services in the longer run, the focus is not on preventive services.

The EC has already commissioned five country studies, in Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia and Luxembourg.

Besides giving a general overview of the impacts of the crisis on access to healthcare services in these countries, they also look at three specific services:

  • nursing care homes for older people,

  • ambulatory or out-patient healthcare for people with disabilities, and

  • ambulatory or out-patient healthcare for people with mental health problems.

While recognising that much of the problems various groups face in society are not health-related, and the important role for other social services, the study focuses on healthcare services. Furthermore, the study aims to identify examples of initiatives, especially by service providers, which have contributed to mitigating the potential negative impact of reduced resources on access to healthcare services.

This tender aims to broaden the research, not only by including four more countries, but also by looking at different services, including

  • primary healthcare centres and

  • hospitals

The four country studies to be commissioned concern: Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Sweden.

Overall objectives

  • To develop a better understanding of how access to healthcare services has been affected by the crisis;

  • To establish which groups have been most affected by the crisis in terms of reduced access to healthcare services;

  • To identify initiatives that have reduced or mitigated the potential negative impact of austerity measures on access to healthcare services.

This tender is divided into four lots. Tenderers may submit tenders for one lot only, some of them, or all of them. Tenderers must provide a comprehensive company profile and proven expertise in the field related to the topic of the tender.

Deadline: 28 October 2013

View the ECN Procurement Notice (accessible by ECN Executive Members - Login to View)

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