Health reform process in Greece to be backed-up by sound workforce strategy

WHO

The Greek government is taking important strides towards the development of a health workforce strategy, and is committed to investing resources towards the goal of universal health coverage (UHC) with an appropriately skilled, supported and deployed health workforce. The long-term goal is to improve population health and access to health services, the effectiveness of the health system and the quality of care.

A team from WHO/Europe visited the country on 25–29 September 2017. The objective of the first scoping mission was to conduct a preliminary assessment of the system capability and provide technical recommendations to facilitate the work on developing a health workforce strategy which will be aligned with ongoing health reforms in the country. The WHO team participated in a series of scheduled briefing meetings with a range of key stakeholders, including governmental bodies and professional associations, and made field visits to administrative bodies, educational institutions and health-care providers.

This visit is the first step in a continuous dialogue and collaboration between WHO/Europe and the Ministry of Health in Greece, together with other stakeholders, to enable the formulation of a health workforce strategy. This strategy will be crucial for the sustainability of the ongoing health reforms, as part of a drive towards UHC and people centeredness. The strategic paper will draw from the available frameworks and guidelines developed by WHO/Europe and related specifically to human resources for health, in the context of broader health policy frameworks, like Health 2020 and the European framework for action towards a sustainable health workforce. The process will involve consultative meetings with all relevant stakeholders to build consensus on the content of the strategy and feasible implementation mechanisms.

The assessment was carried out under the second phase of the “Strengthening capacity for universal coverage” (SCUC2) initiative.

Background

The SCUC initiative is carried out with funding from the European Union through a grant agreement between the European Commission and WHO/Europe. The general objective of the initiative is to contribute to improving health and health equity in Greece, especially among the most vulnerable in the crisis-stricken population, by helping the Greek authorities move towards universal coverage and strengthening the effectiveness, efficiency and resilience of their health system.