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Mobility of Health Professionals (MoHProf)

Worldwide mobility of health professionals is a growing phenomenon, impacting the health systems of receiving, transit, and sending countries. EU Member States are increasingly affected by these developments - which might occur simultaneously within the same country. Therefore, the need to develop European policies to adequately address these issues is urgent. At the same time, reliable and differentiated knowledge and findings as a basis for such policy are lacking. MoHProf will contribute to improving this knowledge base and facilitate European policy on human resource planning.

Research issues

The general objective of the project is to research current trends of mobility of health professionals to, from and within the EU. Research will also be conducted in non-European sending and receiving countries, but the focus lies on the EU: comparative studies in a selected range of representative states will determine the impact of different types of migration on national health systems. Partners inside and outside the EU will cooperate in the project. Scientific institutes capable of conducting sound investigations are working together with worldwide active international health service organisations, which have the information and global links for research and policy development on international mobility.

Methodological approach


An innovative approach will generate more comparable, specified and qualified data gathered by mainly qualitative research. The project looks for quantities of migration flows, as well as detailed qualities like professions, motives, circumstances and the social context, i.e. push and pull factors. Crucial for the approach are key stakeholders, which represent the relevant unities, organisations, and sectors in national health systems. They will enable the collection of existing data and statistics, but, above all, enable the generation of new, qualitative data. In-depth interviews, based on thematic guidelines, with representatives of these key stakeholders will allow a triangulation of the data: their expertise on health professionals' mobility and its impact on structures and processes of health systems will qualify the quantitative findings and explore what mobility means for the health systems and the persons and organisations involved.

Policy dimension

The policy dimension of MoHProf comprises recommendations on human resource policies in European and third countries for policy and decision makers on the basis of sound empirical research. A key part constitutes the development of conceptual frameworks for monitoring systems concerning the mobility of health workers. Consultation meetings and roundtables with policymakers will be an essential component of the project.

MoHProf is funded by the European Commission as a medium-scale collaborative project within the Seventh Framework Programme, theme 1, health.