HEALTH PROMeTHEUS – Health professional mobility in the European Union study

Programme: Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
Project Status: COMPLETED (January 2009 – June 2012)

What aims and scope

To understand existing patterns of professional mobility and the organisational, contextual and personal factors that affect the mobility of health professionals and highlight feasible and effective policy interventions (national and international) with strong managerial responses.

How it became possible 

For three years, eleven partners from eight European Union Member States with 24 country correspondents/informants provided the following components:

  • Missing data
  • An understanding of drivers for movement
  • Insights into the impact of mobility on health system access quality and sustainability

The partners were tasked with addressing six key objectives by answering these questions below:

  • How much professional mobility is there?
  • What is it about countries, health systems and people that encourage professionals to move? 
  • What does mobility do to systems, professionals and patients? 
  • What policy responses make a difference? 
  • What are the future challenges? 
  • What can decision-makers do? 

This project then went beyond the state-of-the-art approach to provide comprehensive maps of professional mobility and 19 country case studies. It also captured and assessed effective responses to frame such insights–alongside other information–into policymaking recommendations. 

Where EHMA delivered

EHMA was responsible for the project management of HEALTH PROMeTHEUS and overseeing the delivery of results and documentation related to ‘Testing the policy and managerial relevance’. This work domain ensured that policymaking issues and practitioners’ concerns would fully inform research and analysis throughout the project and reflect perspectives from various disciplines and national/regional levels.


EU logoThe research leading to these results received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under Grant Agreement number 223383. This page and the publications contained herein only reflect the author’s views. The European Union is not liable for any use that might be made of the information contained in this page and publications.


HEALTH PROMeTHEUS published a book titled ‘Health Professional Mobility and Health Systems: Evidence from 17 European Countries‘. Complete with case studies, the book provides policymakers with evidence of the nature and extent of health professional mobility in the European Union and analyses its impact on country health systems. It also outlines some major policy strategies to address mobility.

You can also make the most of the project’s other publication, ‘Health professional mobility in a changing Europe: new dynamics, mobile individuals and diverse responses: volume II. As health professional mobility in Europe has become a fast-moving target for policymakers, this support document can give you the practical tools you need to manage the issue of mobility, including:

  • A yardstick for registry methodology
  • A typology of mobile individuals
  • Qualitative tools for studying the motivation of the workforce and a set of concrete policy responses at EU, national and organisational levels, including bilateral agreements, codes and workplace responses


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