The EHMA 2021 Annual Conference Report is out!

24 November 2021

EHMA 2021 was our 26th Annual Conference on Health management: Managing the present and shaping the future. It took place digitally through the lens of Lisbon, Portugal from 15-17 September and was co-hosted by our members, the Associação Portuguesa de Administradores Hospitalares (APAH), the Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública (ENSP), and the Universidade Nova: Nova School of Business and Economics.

The Conference welcomed the entire European health and care ecosystem: universities, researchers, healthcare professionals, hospitals, policymakers, and industry for three days of inspiring and challenging exchanges. It provided a platform to discuss the latest developments in governance and leadership; the lessons-learned from the COVID-19 pandemic; the best practices and challenges of the digital transformation; as well as provided practical solutions to implement integrated care, and create sustainable person-centred services. Attendees also shared the results of their research and ongoing projects, as well as their innovative and provocative ideas to address contemporary challenges or anticipate future challenges.

The program was organised around six sub-themes: Governance and leadership; Person-centredness and care integration; Managing the digital transformation; Improving healthcare access and outcomes; Environmental sustainability of health services; and Health workforce.

As every year, the EHMA 2022 Annual Conference attracted research from leading universities, creating space to exchange knowledge on excellent delivery of healthcare and showcase evidence-based practices at the country, systems and organisational level. The conference was abstract-driven and featured research by leading experts on the most contemporary topics on health management.  

The EHMA 2021 Conference Report takes you through 4 plenary sessions, 14 abstract sessions, 11 partner sessions, and EHMA PIE sessions on the latest developments in health management. It offers a detailed summary of all conference sessions, along with recommendations and take-home messages, to facilitate your access to the key takeaways, research results, and best practices provided by Europe’s leading experts in health management. 

The EHMA 2021 Conference Report was compiled thanks to the EHMA 2021 Rapporteurs:

  • Ms Terhi Auvinen, Department of Health and Social Management, University of Eastern Finland
  • Prof Paulo Boto, National School of Public Health, Nova University, Portugal
  • Mr Gabriele del Castillio, Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, University of Milan, Italy
  • Mr Simon Dello, Leuven Institute for Healthcare Policy, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • Dr João Frutuoso, Hospital Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal
  • Ms Anna Kafkoula, Erasmus School of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Dr Patrícia Nobre Lopes Lourenço Soares, NOVA Health, NOVA University, Portugal
  • Ms Sandra Pais Gabriel, Nova School of Business & Economics, Portugal
  • Dr Julian Perelman, National School of Public Health, NOVA University, Portugal
  • Ms Kasia Skoczek, Department Nursing and Health, University of Applied Science Fulda, Germany
  • Dr Patricia Vella Bonanno, Department of Health Systems Management and Leadership, University of Malta.


The EHMA 2021 Conference Report collects the latest health management research and best-practices; it showcases the discussions around trending and complex topics in health and care; and it sets the agenda for health management for the following year.

It gathers 33 session summaries, including four high-level plenaries, eleven partner sessions, and 18 abstract and PIE sessions, organised around six themes:

  • Governance and leadership
  • Person-centredness and care integration
  • Managing the digital transformation
  • Improving healthcare access and outcomes
  • Environmental sustainability of health services
  • Health workforce.
Despite EHMA’s and the Rapporteurs’ best effort to ensure accurate reporting, errors may occur. For any corrections, clarifications, or additional information, please contact Evelyn Donohoe, Policy Officer, at


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What our Members say

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