Watch back: online intermediate event of the EU Health Workforce Projects Cluster


Countries can address access to health inequalities in the population by improving health worker retention and task-shifting policies. So, what should these policies look like? On March 29th, the five projects of the Health Workforce Projects Cluster on the EU Health Policy Platform – including AHEAD – presented the first results of their research during their second webinar on ‘Fighting access to health inequalities by improving health worker retention and task shifting policies’.

On behalf of AHEAD, Mirela Mustata and Dana Farcasanu from the Center for Health Policies and Services (CHPS) presented the findings of our literature review on a multidimensional definition of medical deserts. This definition will be the basis of AHEAD’s research on identifying medical deserts and the Medical Deserts Diagnostics Tool (currently in development).

‘’What we discovered during the literature review stage was the variability of terms that are used to indicate medical deserts and the complexity behind this apparently simple concept. Yet, it became clear that two aspects are key when one indicates whether an area is a medical desert or not: low density of health services in certain areas as compared to population characteristics and needs and physical distance to the health care services that are available. From this starting point, different avenues of research are open: which levels of health care to consider in each country (primary care, emergency, specialized care, what types of specialized care), how to better define population needs, what is the referral point, how to measure distance, how to test and validate the solution? ‘’

Mirela Mustata, researcher

Did you miss the webinar? You can watch it back HERE

Upcoming participation in European Health Management Association (EHMA) in June

On June 15-17, 2022, the European Health Management Association’s (EHMA) Annual Conference 2022 – with the theme ‘From people to systems: leadership for a sustainable future’ – will take place in Brussels, Belgium. The conference will bring together key healthcare stakeholders providing the latest evidence on ways to transform health systems. The conference provides opportunities for health managers and health professionals to have their voices heard, to connect with decision-makers, and inform policymaking at the European level.

On behalf of AHEAD, Mirela Mustata (CHPS) will present our literature review findings on a multidimensional definition of medical deserts.

Would you like to attend the conference? Please register on EHMA’s website

1 year anniversary AHEAD

This year’s World Health Day 2022 – April 7th – marked AHEAD’s 1st anniversary!

Our first year has been exciting, with many activities and developments which should lay a solid foundation for our project. For example, based on the contexts of the countries AHEAD focuses on, we have been working on a multidimensional definition of medical deserts, conducting qualitative research with stakeholders and collecting quantitative data. In our second year (starting in April 2022), we will implement our draft consensus-building methodology, and design policy options for policy makers to possibly implement in their countries.

We are also excited about finalizing our ‘medical desert maps’ (for our Medical Deserts Diagnostics Tool), which will provide an overview of the locations of medical deserts in the AHEAD focus countries. Stay tuned for more exciting developments AHEAD!

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