Launch EU Health Workforce Projects Cluster: how can we manage medical deserts?

During the webinar ‘How to effectively manage medical deserts, task shifting and retention policies?’ on September 20th, the EU Health Policy Forum will officially launch its Health Workforce Projects Cluster. One of the five projects within this cluster is the Wemos-led project Action for Health and Equity: Addressing medical Deserts (AHEAD). At the webinar, Corinne Hinlopen (Wemos) will introduce AHEAD and explain how the project partners want to address health worker shortages in isolated or depopulated areas, known as ‘medical deserts’.

Network to strengthen the health workforce in the EU
The Health Workforce Projects Cluster is a network that aims to provide supporting tools, practical guidelines and to improve sharing of best practices that can help Member States to design and implement their policies related to health workforce retention, task-shifting and tackling regional medical deserts. Contribution from key stakeholders to the policy dialogue is essential to advance on these challenging issues. It covers five EU co-funded projects that will thoroughly investigate three key topics in the coming years: medical deserts, task shifting and retention policies.

Projects of the Health Workforce Projects Cluster:

  • Action for Health and Equity – Addressing Medical Deserts: AHEAD
  • MEnTal hEalth: fOcus on Retention of healthcare workers: METEOR
  • prOmoting evidence-bASed rEformS: OASES
  • Empowering EU health policies on Task SHIfting: TaSHI
  • A Roadmap OUT of mEdical deserts into supportive Health WorkForce initiatives and policies: ROUTE-HWF

Addressing medical deserts in AHEAD

In AHEAD, a EU co-funded consortium project, we collaborate with five civil society partners from Romania, Italy, Serbia, Moldova and the Netherlands. We investigate the different manifestations of medical deserts and develop context-appropriate policy solutions that will improve health worker availability for all. We do this via a participatory, inclusive approach at local (community), national (government) and international (EU) policy levels, uniting different stakeholders around the shared challenge of health worker shortages.

To learn more about medical deserts and why – especially with all the different Covid-19 recovery responses – national and European decision-makers should seize the opportunity to invest in health workforce reforms, read ‘A perfect storm for the European health workforce’. This article was written by Corinne Hinlopen and published on the website of the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA).

If you want to know more about AHEAD, our partners and activities, and/or want to subscribe to our newsletter, please visit the website

Want to join the Health Workforce Projects Cluster?

Please visit this page to join the network.

Want to register for the webinar?

Webinar:        How to effectively manage medical deserts, task shifting and retention policies? – Official launch event of the Health Workforce Projects Cluster

Date & time:   Monday September 20th, 2021 (11.00 – 12.30 CEST)

Registration:   please visit this page   

Once registered, you will receive an email from Webex with the link to join the event on September 20th. If you have any question regarding the technical side of the webinar, do not hesitate to contact us at For more information and the webinar’s agenda, please also have a look at the official launch invitation (pdf).  

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