Health workforce

Improving the recruitment and retention of health professionals

To ensure a sustainable health workforce in the EU crucially depends on attracting people to work in the healthcare services and retaining qualified experienced staff in a highly competitive global labour market.

In 2013, the Commission launched a study on Effective Recruitment and Retention Strategies for Health Workers to analyse the various dimensions of the challenge of recruiting and retaining professionals in the health sector.  The study findings were published in July 2015.

Non-financial factors such as a supportive and safe work environment are important to recruit health workers, particularly women. The EU research project Nurse Forecasting in Europe provides evidence on the link between the work environment and nurse satisfaction.

The European Social Dialogue in the hospital and healthcare sector agreed a Code of Conduct on the Ethical Cross-Border Recruitment and Retention in the Hospital Sector and a Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention.