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Health Workforce Challenges – How to strike balance between free movement of labour and risks that medical deserts in EU and neighbouring countries will undermine Universal health coverage on the level of member states and European solidarity

Event Type

L - Conference, forum

Event Location


Event Description

Supported by the grant from the Open Society Foundations


Live event in Brussels EU parliament facilities combined with on-line Teams environment format

Organizers: The European Parliament member Juozas Olekas, European Institute of Health and Sustainable Development (EIHSD), Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS). 

Pan-European media network specialised in EU policies Euroactiv – publicity assistance of the conference.

Scope and purpose 

Objective of the event.  Investment in health workforce is one of the best buys in public health. Main objective of the event is to identify how to balance free movement of workers as a fundamental principle of the European internal market with assurance that equitable accessibility of health services will be provided (medical deserts irrigated) across all European regions including those of workforce source countries and to discuss the policies, strategies and actions that most meaningfully contribute to the solution of the existing health and care workforce related problems on national and European levels.



Two sessions live event in premisses of the European Parliament, combined with on-line Teams environment


Conference Outline 

time in total: 120 min. 




Expected speaker

1-st plenary session, moderator Mathias Wismar 

14.00 - 14.02


Juozas Olekas, Member of the European Parliament 

14.02 - 14.04

Introduction and presenting speakers  

Moderator Mathias Wismar 

14.04 - 14.11

International mobility of health care personnel: trends, problems, most promising policies 

Giorgio Cometto, 

Health Workforce Department WHO

14.11 - 14.18

Health and care workforce in Europe: time to act

Tomas Zapata, WHO representative

14.18 - 14.25

Aspects of health personnel policies that require special attention: safety at work, gender equality, status of auxiliary workforce and informal carers

Hopfe, Maren, ILO, Public and Private Services Unit

Sectoral Policies Department

14.25 - 14.32

Equitable training, retaining and distribution of health care personnel: civil society perspective 

Corrine Hinlopen, Wemos 

14.32 - 14.45

Q&A short interventions from participants of the Conference

Panel, moderator

14.45 - 14.50

How to strike balance between freedom of movement and issues of medical “deserts”

Vytenis Andriukaitis



2-nd plenary session, moderator Mariam Zaidi

14.50 - 15.00

Introduction and presenting speakers  

Moderator Mariam Zaidi

15.00 - 15.08

Pan - European solutions in training, recruitment and allocation of healthcare workforce as an integral part of a European Health Union

COVI committee chair Kathleen van Brempt, MEP

15.08 - 15.16

Policies with European value added in health personnel management: member state perspective  

Christopher Fearne, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of health of Malta, Online

15.16 - 15.24

European institutions and health workforce in the EU: competencies, actions and vision for the future

Nicolas Schmit, the Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights

15.24 - 15.32 

Pan-European health policies key for incoming Elections to the European Parliament 

Maria João Rodrigues, President of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS)

15.32 - 15.40 

Q&A, discussion

Panel, moderator

15.40 -15.45

Closing remarks

Vytenis Andriukaitis, Juozas Olekas

15.45 – 16.00

Coffee break



For additional information or questions on the content, logistics or technical issues pls. address to EIHSD staff: accordingly: Gediminas Cerniauskas (; Romas Buivydas ( Tamar Gabrielashvili-Cerniauskiene (



Audience of the live event is up to 30 people. Audience expected online is up to 200 people.



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