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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Health workforce mobility in the South-east European Health Network Region

A recent report prepared by IOM and the SEEHN provides more information in the situation of health workforce mobility and migration in the SEEHN member states. Below is the Executive Summary of the report. To read the full report please click here.

Dynamic health-related demographic and migratory trends are creating new challenges for health systems across Europe – nationally and regionally. The increasing out-migration of health professionals from low- and middle-income countries towards high-income countries of the European Union (EU) is becoming a crucial problem facing the health systems of the sending countries. The Council of the European Union recognizes that the ageing of the population and the health workforce, coupled with the growing number of major and chronic diseases, the changing needs of patients and of the health systems, the increasing mobility of patients and health care professionals, and the emergence of new technologies pose new challenges for all Member States, and require innovative approaches in training and supplying the health workforce of the future.

In recent years, many of these health workforce needs in the EU have been met by increasing numbers of migrating non-EU health professionals, including those from South-Eastern Europe (SEE). The situation in the SEE is alarming, due to substantial loss of qualified, trained health professionals from the Region. Through its collaborative efforts with the South-Eastern European Health Network (SEEHN), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) administered a survey, developed within the framework of the MoHProf Project
, on the mobility of health professionals involving the member states of the SEEHN (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Israel, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia), in order to determine the gravity of the situation.

Overall, the surveys reveal that the out-migration of highly trained and qualified health professionals is a prominent concern throughout the Region. With the EU as the primary destination for SEE health workers, the sending states recognize the need for the establishment of greater collaboration, data collection, formal agreements and codes of best practice between sending and receiving countries. Ensuring the best, most effective, and most equitable exchange between health systems in the present will not only facilitate the resolution of current healthcare needs within Europe, it will also promote the development of sustainable healthcare systems for the future needs of all.