Health Workforce and Care Strategy for the future of Europe

EESC opinion: Health Workforce and Care Strategy for the future of Europe

Key points



  • calls for a transformative approach to care centred on people, their rights and their needs, including their participation in any relevant discussions, consultations and decisions;
  • urges the Commission to be ambitious in setting out a care strategy that can contribute to cohesion and upward convergence in healthcare and long-term care among and within the Member States;
  • proposes the launch of a European Care Guarantee, to ensure that everyone living in the EU has life-long access to affordable quality healthcare and care services. This instrument would also address care deficits and promote decent working conditions for carers, including informal carers;
  • given that efficient, accountable and well funded public services remain key in ensuring equal access to quality, calls on the European Union to ensure complementarity and balance between public and private providers of care services based on solidarity and to encourage and support investments in the social economy;
  • proposes an update of the Action Plan for the Health and Care Workforce in the European Union, including[1] an integrated health workforce planning and forecasting and the update of health and long-term care workforce skills, namely to the opportunities offered by digitalization;
  • calls for the setting up of a European health workforce surveillance service to assist Member States in establishing and maintaining planning structures and coordinating cross-border aspects of planning. This would be linked to right to free movement for health workers;
  • is convinced that Social dialogue involving governments, employers and workers and their representative organisations, is key to a transformative care strategy and resilient health systems in the EU.


[1]           The European Commission published in 2012 its Action Plan for the EU health workforce.