PROMeTHEUS – Health PROfessional Mobility in THe European Union Study

Health professionals have always moved to, from and within Europe for work and other reasons. However, concerns about the scale of movement are increasing. New patterns of disease, new technology and increasingly global markets have multiplied pressures in countries and on health systems. Policy makers and managers need to respond but robust data and information on what is happening is scarce.

This information gap is addressed by a multi-disciplinary consortium. The consortium aims at understanding the scale, relevance, and directions of health professional mobility, the reasons behind it, its possible implications, and the tools most adequate to respond to it. Scientific evidence will in this way be used to support policy-relevant recommendations. The recommendations will be formulated for policy makers and managers, and will reflect the likelihood of future change. They will emphasize accessible options and implementation of initiatives whether to recruit, integrate or retain staff.

The project is timely, particularly given the complexity, risks and benefits of a mobile workforce, the growth of the EU and the sometimes competing agendas of Lisbon and a Social Europe. The project will combine methods from quantitative data analysis to case studies and focus groups to consider the international, national, sub-national and institutional levels; to reach the research aims; and to generate advice for stronger, more appropriate human resource policies in a Europe where health systems increasingly interact.

Launched in January 2009 for a 3-year period, the research covers all Member States of the European Union and selected neighbourhood countries. 11 partners from eight European Member Sates will be joined by country correspondents and informants from another 24 countries to provide missing data, an understanding of the drivers for movement, and insights into mobility’s impact on health services and systems in countries importing and exporting staff.

The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies leads the scientific work of the consortium while the European Health Management Association is in charge of the project management. The project is funded by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme for Research.

Disclaimer: The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n°223383. Sole responsibility lies with the authors and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.