What are policy options for effectively tackling medical deserts? During our webinar on March 15th, the partners of the Action for Health and Equity: Addressing medical Deserts (AHEAD), discussed this question by sharing the outcomes of our participatory consensus-building workshops with stakeholders in Italy, Moldova, the Netherlands, Romania and Serbia. The recording of this webinar is now available on YouTube.

We shared interesting and innovative ideas to tackle medical deserts and improve access to healthcare in the different countries, such as investing in mobile health services, setting up a taskforce for medical deserts, and making the region more attractive for general-practitioners to live in.

We were also delighted that Katarzyna Ptak-Bufkens (Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety, European Commission) joined us and reflected on the policy options presented by our country representatives. She emphasized the importance of contextualization of country-specific policy solutions, as there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution, given the differences between the countries. “We should measure better and get a better understanding of medical deserts, involve the right stakeholders in the policy solutions, shape and support our health workforce, and evaluate the policy solutions,” she concluded. She also emphasized that our project findings are critical as feedback for the EU’s work on health workforce planning and country-specific activities.

Our speakers were:

Aysel Rahimli – project coordinator for AHEAD (Wemos, Netherlands)

Reflections by:
Katarzyna Ptak-Bufkens (Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety, European Commission)

Presentations by:

  • Bianca Ferraiolo – Head of the Representative Office to the EU (Cittadinanzattiva, Italy)
  • Corinne Hinlopen – Project officer for AHEAD (Wemos, Netherlands)
  • Dana Farcasanu – Medical doctor and Executive President (Center for Health Policies and Services, Romania)
  • Milena Santric Milicevic – Prof Social Medicine (University of Belgrade, Serbia)
  • Sergiu Otgon – Human resources for health expert (National Public Health Agency, Republic of Moldova)

We look forward to the final AHEAD webinar in May. Stay tuned for more information soon!

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