18 April 2012 - Strasbourg, European Commission Document: Action Plan for the EU Health Workforce.

The healthcare sector constitutes one of the most significant sectors in the EU economy with an important employment potential due to an ageing population and increasing demand for healthcare.
However, the sector faces major challenges which are similar to all Member States: the health workforce itself is ageing with insufficient new recruits to replace those that are retiring, problems of retention due to demanding working conditions and relatively low pay in some health occupations. In addition, new care patterns to cope with chronic conditions of the elderly and the rise in new technologies will require new skills and competences. Given the current tough budget constraints, health expenditures are under strong pressure to provide high quality healthcare cost effectively and to make fundamental reforms in the way in which they deliver healthcare. EU health systems need to find innovative solutions through new technologies, products and organizational changes which depend on a high quality motivated health workforce of sufficient capacity and with the right skills to meet the growing demands of healthcare.
Recognising the European dimension of the challenges at hand, Members States agreed on the added value of EU action and European collaboration, inviting the Commission to propose an action plan to assist Member States tackle the key challenges facing the health workforce in the medium to longer term1.
The healthcare sector comprises workers primarily delivering healthcare services such as health professionals (doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists and dentists), allied health professionals, public health professionals, health management and administrative and support staff. Many people also work indirectly for the healthcare sector such as those employed in the healthcare industries and support services, pharmaceutical, medical device industries, health insurance, health research, e-Health, occupational health, spa etc2. Health professionals can be salaried or self employed. In several countries3 General Practicians and outpatient specialists are mostly independent self employed with private practices or are contracted by funds or hospitals to provide services.
The healthcare workforce thus makes up a large part of the so-called "white jobs" which also include professionals delivering social care services.

(Read more in:


20.11.2012 - Strasbourg – European Parliament resolution of 20 November 2012 on Social Business Initiative

– Creating a favourable climate for social enterprises, key stakeholders in the social economy and innovation

03.10.2012 - Conference of European Economic and Social Committee: What can social enterprises contribute to the Europe 2020 Strategy?

László ANDOR, European Commissioner responsible for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

18.04.2012 - Brussels, Commission Communication: Towards a job-rich recover.

Employment in the EU will have to increase by 17,6 million additional jobs from its current level.

18.04.2012 - Strasbourg, European Commission Document: Action Plan for the EU Health Workforce.

Accompanying document to: Commission communication: Towards a job-rich recovery.

21.02.2012 - Consultation on the revision of the European Union rules on Regional state aid.

Public authorities, citizens, companies and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation. Period of consultation: from 24.01.2012 to 26.04.2012

19.12.2011 - Directive of the European Parliament and the Council.

Mobility of qualified professionals is low in the European Union. However, there seems to be a major unexploited potential for mobility: according to a 2010 Eurobarometer

01.12.2011 - Towards a simpler, more robust and efficient VAT system - Green Paper. Given the impact of ageing societies on labor markets, taxation systems will have to be adapted.

Value added tax (VAT) was first introduced in Europe in 1954, in France.

23.09.2011 - European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. The European Union designated 2012 as the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations

This initiative aims to:

19.05.11: Brussels - Health Policy Forum

Follow-up on the work of the Council Working Group on Public Health at Senior Level and activities with the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing,

23.03.11: Germany needs qualified care staff

BPA welcomed the recent Government decision to improve procedures for recognition of foreign diplomas in nursing.

03.03.11: Brussels - Europe's social dialogue vital to overcoming crisis says new report

Dialogue between workers' and employers' representatives and between governments has been crucial in helping to shape Europe's response to the crisis.

28.02.11: The Council has approved a directive on cross-border healthcare, promoting cooperation between member states.

Member states will have 30 months to transpose the directive’s provision into national legislation.

16.02.11: Combating late payment in commercial and health transactions

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular to Article 114 thereof, The European Parliament and Council have approved DIRECTIVE 2011/7/EU.

10.02.2011: Europe 2020 health strategy

Under President Barroso's second term, Europe 2020 health strategy was published setting the direction for the EU for the next ten years. The strategy’s guiding objective is to pursue smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in order to exit the financial crisis.

30.01.2011: The EU Health Policy Forum - Draft workplan 2011/2012

The EUHPF’s mission is to contribute to and advise on the development, implementation and evaluation of EU health-related policies and actions and to empower European citizens in health for life.

21.01.2011: How Europe protects social services

Europe has undertaken to protect social services and the delivery of a particular service for which they are responsible which meets the basic, day-to-day needs of the European public in the area of health, employment, housing, education, training, social protection and social integration.

20.01.2011: A healty economy depends on a healty population

Health is a key foundation stone of the overall Lisbon strategy of growth, competitiveness and sustainable development. A healthy economy depends on a healthy population.

26.11.2010: Report of Stakeholder Consultation Conference European Innovation on "Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing"

The event was a first occasion for stakeholders to put forward their views and, most importantly, their ideas on the pilot European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing

23.11.2010: EU Commission. Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing

The EU Health Policy Forum. Has welcomed the opportunity to contribute to discussions on the proposed Innovation