Workforce of the future – Discover the #EHMA2022 topics

31 January 2022

The 2021 edition of the State of Health in the EU’s Companion Report highlighted the main conclusions from the analysis of 29 countries. One of the three conclusions is on the need to address shortages of healthcare professionals and to think about the needs of the workforce in the future.

The COVID-19 pandemic has, with the challenges related to the health workforce shortages, similar to all pre-existing challenges, exacerbated the impact they had on health systems’ resilience. The availability and quality of the healthcare workforce are key for effective health system performance and recovery. To deliver safe healthcare, the workforce must be adequately supported, protected, and equipped. Future health systems depend on people and investing in the future of health systems means investing in the health workforce of the future. As societal and technical evolutions occur, the health workforce must rapidly change and adapt to safeguard patients and their wellbeing, as well as their professional existence. Healthcare is provided by people to people but sometimes healthcare workers are left with the hopeless feeling that they are ‘working together’ alone.

In addition to workforce planning and forecasting, as well as care professionals’ recruitment and retention; training has been high on the priority agendas at the European level to support regional and national health systems. More than clinical skills, green and digital skills, or leadership and communication skills, resilience training has been identified, in addition to psychological support, as a needed tool to ensure the wellbeing of the workforce.

With the ever-changing context of health systems and the many paradigm shifts created by COVID-19, some of the questions to be answered are:

  • What are the needs of the health workforce that must be addressed?
  • What are the key areas to invest in to support the health workforce?
  • How will their education and training needs change?
  • How do we address challenges relating to the shortage and mobility of professionals?
  • How can health managers support professional collaborations and relationships?

Have you carried out research focusing on the health workforce? Would you be interested in sharing your results with the health management community? Don’t forget to submit your abstract before Friday, 4 March at 17:00 CET.



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I have been active in EHMA since the first years of the '90s and I have seen its evolution from a small association of members interested in sharing knowledge on health management practices to the current status of reference and advisory key player for EU, health systems and organisations, stakeholders associations, industry and universities. EHMA is now a unique knowledge hub, policy advisor, community of practice and network of best in class organisations involved in health policy and management. A place where health managers can build their competences, policy-makers and stakeholder associations envision how to implement and sustain change through health management, industry leaders understand how to engage more effectively with health organisations and systems. The right place to nurture and grow health management capabilities and capacity for every stakeholder of health systems.

Prof. Federico Lega, University of Milan, Italy

Health management has a crucial function in shaping public health and health system challenges. The Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria had success in collaborating with EHMA on EU-funded projects that has resourced us to create new health management competencies for the future workforce. In addition to all classical definitions, health management is a science dealing with individuals, groups, and society at large. It is an art contributing to the beauty of our lives and an interactive communication process at all levels of institutions and human energy. I have also had the pleasure to chair the South Eastern European Special Interest Group which gives members a space to discuss and tools to address how health systems are managed in our regions.

Prof. Todorka Kostadinova, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria

I enjoy the high level of interaction and engagement in EHMA’s activities, in particular during the annual conference where the panel discussions are rich and well prepared. As a hospital manager and professor of health management, EHMA motivates and inspires me to be creative. You go back home feeling energised from seeing old friends and making new connections, as well as being convinced of serving as EHMA’s ambassador. It’s a strong feeling of interdisciplinary engagement, but it also feels like being part of family-like community.

Prof. Sandra C. Buttigieg, University of Malta, Malta

EHMA is a pre-eminent organisation for everyone working in planning, managing and delivering health services across Europe. As a long standing member of EHMA I have always been impressed by the vibrant community of managers, researchers and academics it has created and by the many opportunities for sharing knowledge and funding opportunities it has brought to its members. Its international scope is impressive and its impact is often felt in management and research across European and national health systems.

Prof. Axel Kaehne, Edge Hill University, UK

Health workforce has become more essential in operating, managing and maintaining health systems lately, particularly in crisis and emergency situations. European healthcare professions and the workforce need to be high on the agenda of managers and decision makers. The Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University in Hungary is a longstanding EHMA member, because it connects us with collaborators and experts, with whom we can have complex debates, from whom we can learn and at the end find solutions in various challenging fields of healthcare management.

Dr Eszter Kovács, Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University, Hungary

As a hospital administrator and health management professor, I see on a daily basis that the healthcare challenges require talented and skilled managers to transform it. the EHMA membership has been beneficial to bring healthcare management research and education to the demanding healthcare services world, promoting healthcare management competencies and knowledge creation.

Dr Alexandre Lourenco, APAH - Association of Portuguese Hospital Managers, Portugal

Many healthcare systems in Europe and beyond are facing similar challenges which require innovative and creative solutions. EHMA’s annual conference, webinars, Programme Directors’ group and other activities and resources provide incredible opportunities for networking, connecting and sharing experiences. A distinct feature of EHMA is the diversity of members with representation from many countries, sectors and different communities of practice – academic, policy-makers, practitioners, managers, leaders and students. The annual conference is a highlight in the calendar year, offering a friendly, fun and learningful environment for emerging and established members to engage, collaborate and meet up with old and new friends. I am proud to be a member of the EHMA Board.

Prof. Ann Mahon, University of Manchester, UK

Society evolution, pandemics and ageing modify health needs. So, health policies and services are to change dramatically. EHMA, through webinars, workshops and annual conference provides an excellent insight to a professional changing world, favouring closeness to management innovation and the protagonists of these changes. As a primary care services’ manager, participating in EHMA activities is really worth it and allows to involve oneself in the innovation processes.

Dr Antoni Peris Grao, Consorci Castelldefels Agents de Salut (CASAP), Spain