Conference about Health Workforce Challenges

Health Workforce Challenges – How to strike balance between free movement of labour and risks that medical deserts in EU and neighbouring countries will undermine Universal health coverage on the level of member states and European solidarity

The conference, 30 November 2022, 14.00-16.00 CET

Venue: Meeting room 1G 369; Spinelli Building, European Parliament

Supported by the grant from the Open Society Foundations

Live event in Brussels EU parliament facilities combined with on-line WEBEX environment format. Event address for attendees:

Organizers: The European Parliament member Juozas Olekas, European Institute of Health and Sustainable Development (EIHSD), Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS). Pan-European media network specialised in EU policies Euroactiv – publicity assistance of the conference.

Scope and purpose

The objective of the event.  Investment in the health workforce is one of the best buys in public health. The main objective of the event is to identify how to balance the free movement of workers as a fundamental principle of the European internal market with the assurance that equitable accessibility of health services will be provided (medical deserts irrigated) across all European regions including those of workforce source countries and to discuss the policies, strategies, and actions that most meaningfully contribute to the solution of the existing health and care workforce-related problems on national and European levels.


Two sessions of live event in the premises of the European Parliament, combined with online WEBEX environment

Event address for attendees:    Meet virtually with Cisco Webex. Anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Conference Outline 

Time in total: 120 min.

Time Subject Expected speaker
1-st plenary session, moderator Mathias Wismar
14.00 – 14.02 Opening


Juozas Olekas, Member of the European Parliament
14.02 – 14.04 Introduction and presenting speakers Moderator Mathias Wismar
14.04 – 14.11 International mobility of health personnel: Trends, challenges and promising policies Giorgio Cometto,

Health Workforce Department WHO

14.11 – 14.18 Health and care workforce in Europe: time to act Tomas Zapata, WHO representative
14.18 – 14.25 Aspects of health personnel policies that require special attention: safety at work, gender equality, status of auxiliary workforce and informal carers Hopfe, Maren, ILO, Public and Private Services Unit

Sectoral Policies Department

14.25 – 14.32 Equitable training, retaining and distribution of health care personnel: civil society perspective Corrine Hinlopen, Wemos
14.32 – 14.45 Q&A short interventions from participants of the Conference Panel, moderator
14.45 – 14.50 How to strike balance between freedom of movement and issues of medical “deserts” Vytenis Andriukaitis
2-nd plenary session, moderator Mariam Zaidi
14.50 – 15.00 Introduction and presenting speakers Moderator Mariam Zaidi
15.00 – 15.08 Pan – European solutions in training, recruitment and allocation of healthcare workforce as an integral part of a European Health Union Tiemo Wölken, MP
15.08 – 15.16 Policies with European value added in health personnel management: member state perspective Christopher Fearne, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of health of Malta, Online
15.16 – 15.24 European institutions and health workforce in the EU: competencies, actions and vision for the future Nicolas Schmit, the Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights
15.24 – 15.32 Pan-European health policies key for incoming Elections to the European Parliament Maria João Rodrigues, President of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS)
15.32 – 15.40 Q&A, discussion Panel, moderator
15.40 -15.45 Closing remarks Vytenis Andriukaitis, Juozas Olekas
15.45 – 16.00 Coffee break

For additional information or questions on the content, logistics, or technical issues please. address to EIHSD staff: accordingly: Gediminas Cerniauskas (; Romas Buivydas ( Tamar Gabrielashvili-Cerniauskiene (


The audience of the live event is up to 30 people. The audience expected online is up to 200 people.