The importance of sustainable health workforce with the right combined skills is increasingly recognised in Europe. Skill mix for health professionals refers to the “the mix of posts in the establishment; the mix of employees in a post; the combination of skills available at a specific time; or alternatively, it may refer to the combinations of activities that comprise each role” (WHO, 2000). Throughout the world, countries are experiencing shortages of health care workers and policy-makers are attempting to negate these risks by developing a range of methods and initiatives to optimise the available workforce and achieve the right mix of personnel needed to provide high-quality care. There is an increasing body of research assessing the policy, planning, implementation and realisation needs of Skill Mix and Competency Based Policy Making which is proving that changes to policy regarding the health workforce as whole can have beneficial outcomes for healthcare systems. This Working Group will aim to increase participants knowledge, improve their tools and assist them in succeeding in achieving a higher effectiveness in health workforce planning processes and policy. It will also aim to bridge the gap between policy makers, practitioners and educators by breaking down policy changes and providing a platform to discuss what this means for health professional education, training and development.  

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Chair: Dr Eszter Kovács, Semmelweis University

Dr. Eszter Kovács first obtained a MSc degree in sociology at University of Szeged in 2007. She started working as a lecturer in sociology of medicine at the Institute of Behavioral Sciences and as a statistician at the unit of Psychiatry of Children and Youth, Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged. She obtained her PhD degree in Health Sciences at the Institute of Behavioral Sciences, Semmelweis University in 2012. Eszter works as an assistant professor at the Health Services Management Training Centre, Faculty of Health and Public Services, Semmelweis University, in Budapest, Hungary. She has participated in several international projects: Health Prometheus, European Cross-border Care Collaborations and the Joint Action on European Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting. Her areas of expertise are human resources, HRH data and related health policy issues, health workforce planning, health professionals’ mobility, cross-border health care, patients’ rights and health/medical tourism. As a chair, she would like to underline the importance of continuous training development in different health professions, particularly linked to health workforce planning and policy. Due to emerging challenges, the health workforce and the curriculum needs to be resilient in order to sustain health workforces and provision of quality care.