Great Attrition or Great Attraction? Addressing healthcare workforce challenges

Thursday, 28 September 2023 | 14:15-15:30 | Kursaal

Organised by the European Health Forum Gastein and World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe

Building on discussions in the first plenary, this second plenary will take a deep dive into the challenge of human resources for health and care. Key issues to be explored include a changing labour market: different expectations of work, an ageing workforce and worker mobility and migration leading to acute shortages and uneven distribution of healthcare professionals, and medical deserts in some areas. This ageing workforce has experienced increasing amounts of burnout, stress, and illness over the last few years while contending with the COVID-19 pandemic, leading many to resign or remain dissatisfied with their working conditions. Supporting the continuing professional development of healthcare workers, incentivising them and training them to meet evolving health and care needs is another challenge. Many healthcare workers are also seeking autonomy and wish to be supported to develop leadership skills and address hierarchical structures and old-fashioned working conditions and rotas in healthcare facilities. In this plenary we will drill down on these issues and consider examples of innovative thinking and best practice.

Session Recording


Topical Inputs

  • Tomas Zapata, Unit Lead, Health Workforce and Health Services, WHO Regional Office for Europe
  • Irene Mandl, Head of Unit “Information and EURES”, European Labour Authority

Panel Discussion

  • Sharon Slattery, Director of Nursing, St James’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  • Michael West, Senior Visiting Fellow, The King’s Fund, London
  • Roopa Dhatt, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Women in Global Health


  • Natasha Azzopardi-Muscat, Director, Division of Country Health Policies and Systems, WHO Regional Office for Europe
  • Josep Figueras, Director, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies


  • Matthias Wismar, Programme Manager, European Observatory for Health Systems and Policies

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