[Excerpt] With EU enlargement to eastern Europe, much attention has focused on the effects of migration from the 10 central and eastern European Member States (referred to in this study as EU10) to the former EU15 countries. While research on the topic has already explored the causes, extent and consequences of the outward migration of one particular group, healthcare professionals, there has been less emphasis on identifying specific common problems (such as shortages of this group in some occupations) and possible solutions for the EU10. However, it is a more complicated task to find solutions as the shortages are due not only to high outward migration, but also to other problems in the health systems of these countries, such as attrition, or regional and occupational imbalances.
This report highlights the key challenges facing the EU10 as a result of the high number of health professionals leaving to work abroad, focusing on specific problems and identifying topics for further research. A thorough analysis of the consequences is critical, since it appears the inflow of third-country nationals or return migration would not make up the shortfall caused by the outflow. However, as this is not equally true for all the countries, the report presents a differentiated picture between the countries concerned. The study draws on the results of two European research projects: Mobility of Health Professionals (MoHProf) and the Health Professional Mobility in the European Union Study (PROMeTHEUS). Three countries have been selected to illustrate the challenges faced by the healthcare sector – Hungary, Lithuania and Poland – and the report focuses on the latest available information for these countries. The three countries vary not only in the scale of outward migration and its trends, but also in how their economies and labour markets have been affected by the crisis.