From 2005 until 2008, HOPE contributed to the discussions of the Group focused on “Health Professionals” within the High Level Group on health services and medical care. The debates of this group were focused on three main themes: evidence of migration amongst health professions, recruitment practices and quality aspects with regard to the continuing professional development (CPD).
There are a number of challenges facing health systems in Europe. People are living longer. New technologies are increasing the range and quality of often expensive treatments. There are new and re-emerging threats to health from communicable diseases. Citizens have ever-rising expectations about having access to the best possible healthcare.
Developing effective and efficient health systems able to respond to the challenges they face depends to a considerable extent on having a high-quality health workforce of sufficient capacity and with the right skills.
Green Paper on the Workforce for Health
On 10 December 2008, the European Commission adopted the Green Paper on European Workforce for Health with a view to launching a public consultation dealing with issues such as mobility and migration, staff training and specialisation, workforce planning, working conditions.
HOPE answered to this consultation expressing the views of its members:
HOPE would broadly support opportunities of sharing experience between healthcare systems and of coordinated action throughout the EU. Actions should however be built on existing mechanisms at European, national and regional level. The diversity of Member States experiences is a source of lessons but also of misinterpretations. It is critical to engage stakeholders from health and beyond to get the most of this diversity.
HOPE believes however that any action taken at European level must fully recognise the differences between healthcare systems and not undermine in any way the capacity of the Member States to plan, fund and organise patient care for their citizens. Read HOPE reply.
Migration of health care professionals in Europe
On 22 November 2006, HOPE together with Eurofedop (European Federation of Employees in Public Services) organised a working breakfast in the European Parliament on the topic “Migration of health care professionals in Europe”.
The objectives of this meeting were to raising awareness and start actions with regard to the issue of migration of health care professionals in Europe. The breakfast was attended by some 15 Members of the European Parliament who emphasised that negative consequences of mobility need to be managed.
Prof. Brian Edwards (HOPE President) stated that we do not know precisely how serious this problem is. The lack of statistics and the uncertainty about the future make it extremely difficult to tackle this problem. Prof. Edwards demanded support from the Members of European Parliament in exposing this problem more clearly.