Publication date

Workshop: health workforce governance and integration.

Batenburg, R. Workshop: health workforce governance and integration. European Journal of Public Health: 2014, 24(suppl. 2), p. 242-243. Abstract: 7th European Public Health Conference 'Mind the Gap: Reducing Inequalities in health and health care'. 19-22 November 2014, Glasgow.
Health workforce governance is increasingly recognized as a burning policy issue and focused on workforce shortages. Yet the most pressing problem is to solve maldistributions through governance and integration. Poor management of health 242 European Journal of Public Health, Vol. 24, Supplement 2, 2014 human resources is relevant on all levels and areas of governance. Including, for instance, regional and international imbalances in the health workforce reinforced by austerity agendas, inefficient distribution of skills and tasks within and between professions, and lack of integration of women doctors in leadership positions and some specialties.

One key challenge of health workforce governance is integration. Efforts are currently on European data sources and harmonizing licencing models. But strong national interests and institutional arrangements, as well as professional interests and social inequalities, are also challenging integration. In this respect, Europe is not only a problem case, but also a ‘natural laboratory’ to explore different routes for integration and coordination of decentralized policy and planning systems.

The objective of this workshop is to bring together scholars from different European countries and leading institutions to achieve three goals:
1. to provide a platform for knowledge exchange and exploration of both best-practice examples
2. to foster the development of a trans-European approach that is sensitive to local (national and regional) conditions
3. to contribute to the development of political-practical solutions for sustainable health human resources policy by a fresh academic debate and methodology.

The presentations aligned for this workshop address policy, management and planning of health human resources, taking into account different countries, dimensions, levels and areas of change in the demand and the supply of the health professional workforce.

The planned workshop presentations comply with the need for integrative theoretical and methodological approaches, and empirical research, to better understand the challenges of a highly diverse European landscape and integration. While integration is the ‘core’ of this workshop, it is viewed through different ‘lenses’. This includes the demand for efficient and reliable workforce planning, inter- and intra-professional collaboration, ethical and sustainable migration policy and management, and gender-sensitive organisational work and career conditions.

This workshop and its presentations demonstrate the relevance of integration of health resource resources governance in their respective areas. The workshop aims to go beyond exploring the intersecting areas of health human resources development and integration, thereby contributing to map the ‘priority areas’ for health human resources policy in Europe.

Key messages
Integration is key for sustainable health workforce governance.
An integrated perspective on health workforce governance sets the priority areas for health human resources policy in Europe.