februari 2023

Joint Action HEROES: Health workforce to meet health challenges

Duration: feb 2023 - jan 2026

The HEROES Joint Action is a continuation of the first Joint Action on European Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting. HEROES is aimed at improving the HWF planning capacities of European countries so to ensure accessibility, sustainability, and resilience of healthcare services.


In HEROES we believe that complex systems such as health systems, characterised by emergencies and a rapid evolving population needs, require advanced planning systems that can support countries to manage:

  • the balance between the current supply of health workforce, the health workforce demand and the needs of the population;
  • the balance between training capacity, future supply and future estimated demand of the health workforce;
  • the balance between specialised and high-level skills and sustainability and flexibility of the health workforce.

Countries need to equip themselves with systems, models, tools, data and information that enable policy makers to make long term decisions about training, recruitment and retention of the health workforce in health facilities at different levels, taking into account the changing demand of the population, the models for organising the health services to meet those demand and the possibility that such systems may be exposed to health shocks and crises.


To improve the countries’ capacity for health workforce planning to ensure a future accessible, sustainable and resilient  systems, focusing on 4 main areas:

  1. databases, data collection, analysis, linkages, sources, on health workforce supply and demand;
  2. forecasting tools and planning methodologies to address health workforce future challenges;
  3. development and enhancement of skills and capacities for effective management of the health workforce planning systems at national and regional levels;
  4. stakeholders engagement for a successful and sustainable health workforce governance.

Project design

  • Defining a sustainable framework for health workforce intelligence and data gathering
  • Assessing the current situation in each country involved in HEROES
  • Defining area of improvement, identify key stakeholders and possible actions to be taken at national and/or regional level
  • Testing and piloting good practices in the four domains at national/regional level
  • Moreover, the Joint Action HEROES will also create:
    • a forum bringing together all key stakeholders to explore ways of promoting and leveraging the improvement of the health workforce planning system in each country
    • a community of practice where all partners can develop, collect and share knowledge through “twinning actions”, dedicated seminars and workshops, and other activities

Work packages

  • Work Package 1: work package to ensure the appropriate overall and day-to day management and coordination of the project.
  • Work Package 2: work package aims to disseminate high quality information on the results and progress of the Joint Action in order to contribute to the development of a sustainable health workforce planning in the EU Member States.
  • Work Package 3: work package to evaluate the quality of the overall project to verify and ensure that the outputs are effective, innovative and fit for purpose in order to guarantee a high impact.
  • Work Package 4: work package to support the uptake of good practices and the scaling up of pilot projects with new knowledge and understanding, based on the main evidence of implementation and results achieved.

Work Packages 5, 6 and 7 in HEROES are organized around three main clusters. Each cluster contains 6 countries that share common features regarding the type of health system and how the health workforce mobility flows are affecting the national labour market. Clusters will perform and ‘as is’ analysis and define a desirable ‘to be’ scenario at the Member State level. Finally, each country will design a road map and carry out an implementation strategy to cover the gap detected. Clusterization and overall JA coordination will ensure mutual learning and sharing of successful practices across countries.

  • Work package 5 - Cluster members: Portugal, Norway, Greece, Sweden, Spain, Italy
  • Work package 6 - Cluster members: Croatia, Romania, Slovenia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland
  • Work package 7 - Cluster members: Belgium, Estonia, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Czechia, Malta, Germany


  • 20 policy action plans derived from policy dialogue
  • Final sustainability report at the EU-level
  • Report on countries’ data collection
  • HWF planning models and tools, stakeholders
  • Report on workforce planning skills improvement

Consortium Joint Action HEROES

Consortium leader: AGENAS (Italy) 

Consortium members:

  • Belgium – Sciensano
  • Croatia – Croatian Institute of Public Health
  • Czech Republic – The Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic
  • Estonia – Ministry of Social Affairs
  • Greece – Health Quality Assurance Organization
  • Hungary – OKFŐ
  • Italy – Agenzia Nazionale per i Servizi Sanitari Regionali
  • Lithuania – Ministry of Health
  • Malta – Ministry of Health
  • Netherlands – Capaciteitsorgaan, Nivel
  • Norway – The Norwegian Directorate of Health  
  • Poland – Ministry of Health,  Analyses and Strategies Department
  • Portugal – Administração Central do Sistema de Saúde
  • Romania – Ministry of Health
  • Slovakia – Ministry of Health
  • Slovenia – National Institute of Public Health
  • Spain – Institut Català de la Salut
  • Sweden – National board of health and welfare

Link to international website: JA HEROES

Dit project wordt gesubsidieerd door
European Commission
The Consortium JA HEROES consists of 20 European partners.