According to an estimate, Europe expects a shortage of 1.000.000 health workers by 2020. Demand, need and supply of the health workforce (HWF) are influenced by multiple factors like ageing population, ageing workforce, rising care use and rising costs in a context of budget constraints. The time lag between decisions and change can be long.


New skills may need new schools, trainers, curricula. The HWF is more mobile and this challenges the selfsufficiency of countries. Hence HWF planning is crucial.


There is a great variety in HWF planning methods across MSs. There is no golden standard. Sharing and exchanging practices will support MSs capacity.


The general objective of this action is a platform for collaboration and exchange between MSs to prepare the future of the HWF. This will support MSs and Europe in their capacity to take effective and sustainable measures.


Strategic relevance:


The HWF is put on the European agenda by the Green Paper on the European Workforce for Health of the European Commission (2008). Policy dialogues and a Ministerial Conference were organized (2009-2010). This action is announced in Commission Communication COM (2010/0682, final 23 Nov 2010): an agenda for new skills and jobs. MSs also requested a platform in the Council Conclusions on investing in Europe’s health workforce of tomorrow (7 Dec 2010). This action is in line with point 1, in particular 1.3, of the annex of the 3rd Health Programme adopted by the European Commission (9 Nov 2011): develop effective health workforce forecasting and planning.


In this proposal there are associated partners from 14 countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Croatia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Slovakia and the United Kingdom. There are collaborative partners from 6 countries: Cyprus, Denmark, Ireland, Latvia, Norway and Sweden.


Expected outcome:


The main outcome will be the consolidation of a permanent network for HWF planning and forecasting. Other outcomes:

  • increased capacity in HWF planning and forecasting, data collection and analysis;
  • improvement of data collection, especially on mobility, at EU level;
  • better insight in the international benchmarks;
  • more evidence based policy; in some MSs a change by giving guidance e.g. on circular mobility and showing feasible practices;
  • impact on decisions in accordance with EU and MSs competencies;
  • the momentum of awareness sustained;
  • capitalisation on previous projects (MohProf, Prometheus, RN4CAST..);
  • supporting existing decisions and systems (e.g. Joint Questionnaire, WHO Global Code of Practice);
  • the sustainability of diversity in MSs will be shown;
  • support and mutual enrich the health systems in MSs, strengthen solidarity within the EU.


This will support the EU and the MSs to have a better prepared European HWF in a better prepared educational and health system, better prepared for the future challenges.

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