Health Care Management


The Berlin University of Technology was a project partner in an EU-funded project on mobility of health professionals in the European Union: “PROMeTHEUS”.

The issue

People have always moved to, from and within Europe for work and for a range of other reasons. Health professionals are no different. However, the scale of professional mobility, the range of occupational cadres involved; the numbers seeking work in other sectors; and the potential impact on health systems as people leave (and join) is causing increasing concern. Not enough is known about the numbers; types of mobility; factors that reduce or facilitate movement; or the effects on services, staff and financial and health outcomes. Data are missing; the effectiveness of existing responses and incentive schemes on mobility is not well explored; and there are shortcomings in the analysis of the available evidence.

The project

The general objective of the project was to address these gaps in order to be able to generate recommendations for more effective human resource policies. The study have striven to better understand existing patterns of professional mobility and the organizational, contextual and personal factors that push and pull staff across borders. It considered the positive and negative impacts of mobility and map the international, national and organizational initiatives that seek to manage it better. It aimed also to highlight feasible, effective policy interventions whether national or international and to identify effective managerial responses. Recommendations have been framed for policy makers and managers and reflect the likelihood of future change in the mobility of health professionals. They emphasized accessible options and implementation of initiatives whether to recruit, integrate or retain staff.

The Berlin University of Technology was a project partner in a multi-disciplinary consortium, led by the European Health Management Association and the European Observatory of Health Systems and Policies, which aims to address these information gaps. The research covered all Member States of the EU and selected neighbourhood countries. 11 partners from 8 European MS joined by country correspondents and informants from another 24 countries to provide missing data, an understanding of the drivers for mobility, and insights into mobility’s impact on quality and responsiveness in countries importing and exporting staff.The project mixed methods from quantitative data analysis to case studies to focus groups to consider the international, national, sub-national and institutional levels; and to generate advice for stronger, more appropriate human resource policies.