OASES - prOmoting evidence-bASed rEformS (2021-2024)

OASES is a 3-year long research project (No. 101018341) co-funded by the Health Programme of the European Union, led by a consortium of European partners. OASES intends to become a source of knowledge on European medical deserts carrying out an analysis of medical desertification in Europe. Findings from the implementation of various pilot studies will provide insights, useful cases and evidence on possible measures to mitigate desertification, which can inform policy makers to enhance their healthcare reforms and workforce policy capacities.


The expression of medical desert is commonly used in the public and mediatic field referring to several situations or areas where people have difficulties to access care (e.g. waiting time, doctor’s registration difficulties or long distances to hospital). The identification of such areas became a major issue and  is exacerbated by the fact that the accessibility itself is complex to address due to its multidimensional nature (spatial, physical, temporal, financial, and cultural).


The OASES proposal aims to represent a source of knowledge in European medical deserts, reinforcing the capacity of health authorities of EU Member States to reform their health systems and address all the important aspects to successfully tackle the challenges that the medical desert is posing, with specific regard to actions focusing on skill mix, task shifting, use of e-health and IT systems, recruitment and retention management and policies, in order to guarantee universal coverage also in rural and underserved areas.


The project presents and supports the application of a stepwise methodology focused on a) definition of a measurement methodology and tool applicable in different contexts (minimal, intermediate, advanced dataset); b) implementation of the measurement methods and tools in selected pilot sites of 7 European countries; c) assessment, policy actions analysis and sustainability in each pilot site, d) impact evaluation in each pilot site and updating the measurement methods and tools according to the pilot results; e) scaling up of the methods and of the policy actions at EU level.


The OASES project runs from March 2021 to February 2024. Project website: The downloadable leaflet can be found here. Contact:


  • Agenzia Nazionale per i Servizi Sanitari Regionali, Italy (Coordinator)
  • Semmelweis University, Hungary
  • International Network for Health Workforce Education, Cyprus
  • Universitatea Babes Bolyai, Romania
  • Agentia Nationala Pentru Sanatate Publica, Moldova
  • Terveyden ja Hyvinvoinnin Laitos, Finland
  • École des Hautes Études en Santé Publique, France

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