Health manpower planning in European Union countries: explaining cross-national variation, 2009-2013

Duration: jan 2009 - dec 2013

There is a wide variety of health manpower planning models available and how they face two types of challenges. On the one hand, they are challenged by changing demand in health care due to ageing of the population, the epidemiological transition, and technology. On the other hand, they face imbalances and mismatches between supply and requirements of health care workers, as a result of changes in health care supply. Little is known about the actual application of these models into current practice of manpower planning in EU countries.

1. To describe health manpower planning in the EU:
a) To identify which EU countries have performed what type of health manpower planning;
b) To classify the models applied by different EU countries for their manpower planning studies as presented in the following section;
c) To characterize the models in terms of their techniques and heuristics, including duration (baseline year and final year of the projection), range, population, and adjusting parameters.

2. To describe and explain cross national variation in manpower planning through political, organizational, economic, social, cultural, technical and educational determinants of manpower planning models used in EU countries.

3. To investigate the role of health manpower planning in labour market situation.

4. To discuss the European perspective on health manpower planning regarding the free movement of health care workers and patients within European borders.

We will perform an international comparative analysis of health manpower planning models applied in each EU country, by:
- Comparing health manpower planning in Portugal and the Netherlands as a pilot study;
- Performing a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) on health manpower planning models, their structure, content, drivers and effects
- Collection of data on demographic, political, organizational, economic, technological, cultural, social, and educational determinants of health manpower planning models for all European countries
- Investigating the cross-national association between the determinants, health manpower planning models and the health labour market situation in the EU
- Elaborating the scientific results into an EU perspective on health manpower planning.

This project will contribute to the body of knowledge in two academic research areas: health manpower planning and health care planning.
In most developed countries, some type of manpower planning for the health care sector is applied, but experiences about the models used are hardly shared or compared. This study will address this gap by presenting a general picture of the current status of manpower planning in EU. Furthermore, it will explain not only the variation found among EU countries but also how health manpower planning may contribute to a balanced health labour market. Finally, it will address health manpower planning from an European perspective.
As a result, this project will contribute to awareness of the importance of developing an European community of researchers in the field of health manpower planning.

Dit project wordt gesubsidieerd door
Education, Culture and Science (OCW), Netherlands
University of Oporto, Portugal; Institute of Public Health (ISPUP)