Health professionals have always moved to, from and within Europe for work and other reasons. However, concerns about the scale of movement and its impacts on health systems are increasing. New disease patterns, new technology and increasingly global markets have multiplied pressures on health systems. Policy makers and managers need to respond but do not know enough about what is happening. EHMA and European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies are leading a multi-disciplinary team to address this information gap. 11 partners from 8 EU MS with 24 country correspondents / informants will provide missing data, an understanding of drivers for movement, and insights into mobility’s impact on health system access quality and sustainability. They will address 6 key objectives by answering the questions •How much professional mobility is there? •What is it about countries, health systems and people that encourage professionals to move? •What does mobility do to systems, professionals and patients? •What policy responses make a difference? •What are the future challenges? •What can decision makers do? This project progresses beyond the state of art by providing comprehensive maps of professional mobility and 19 country case studies. It will also capture and assess effective responses. Recommendations will be framed for policy makers and managers and reflect the likelihood of future change. They will emphasize accessible options and implementation of initiatives to recruit, integrate or retain staff. This project is timely, particularly given the complex risks and benefits of a fluid workforce, EU growth and the sometimes competing agendas of Lisbon and a Social Europe. The project will mix methods from quantitative data analysis to focus groups considering the international, national, regional and institutional levels; to best answer the questions above; and generate advice for stronger, more appropriate human resource policies.
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