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From SEPEN to Health Workforce projects cluster

Eszter Kovacs PhD, Assistant Professor, Semmelweis University, TaSHI Consortium Project Lead

After successfully publishing the results of the “Support for the Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting Expert Network” SEPEN project, the topic of European health workforce has remained top of the EU health policy agenda. Five ongoing projects co-funded by the 3rd Health Programme of the EU focus on effective strategies for managing health workforce shortages and optimising density, distribution and performance.

Three projects aim to identify the so-called “medical deserts” in Europe by defining, measuring and mitigating its negative impacts in EU MSs:

  • AHEAD - Action for Health and Equity - addressing medical deserts
  • OASES - Promoting evidence-based reforms on medical deserts
  • ROUTE-HWF - Roadmap out of medical deserts into supportive Health WorkForce initiatives and policies

These projects are exploring and discussing background factors including social, physical, personal, professional or policy of accessibility issues in care provision and explore potential solutions for overcoming desertification.

Secondly, health workforce retention is considered to be a useful strategy to tackle uneven distribution and combating lack of professionals. The Meteor Project aims to analyse the main predictors of job retention in MSs.

And finally, the TaSHI Project entitled “Empowering EU health policies on Task SHIfting” aims to enhance and strengthen the understanding and knowledge on skills-mix by mapping and collecting practices, tools and methods in member states.

The Health Workforce Projects Cluster is available on the EU Health Policy Platform. The official launch event took place on 20 September 2021. The second joint event of the Cluster is held on Tuesday 29 March 2022. Register at the TaSHI Project to follow-up the development of each project.