Health and care workforce in Europe: time to act

Publication date 14 September 2022 Category
  • Health Workforce
  • Health Policy
  • Planning
  • Workforce
Publishing organisation World Health Organisation


All countries of the WHO European Region currently face severe challenges related to the health and care workforce (‎HCWF)‎. 

This report focuses on identifying effective policy and planning responses to these HCWF challenges across the Region. The report presents an overview of the HCWF situation in the Region (‎focusing on medical doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists, pharmacists and physiotherapists, for whom data are available) ‎and identifies relevant policy options, their expected benefits and potential facilitators or barriers to successful implementation. Examples of sound evidence-informed practices in countries are also provided.

The aim of the report is to describe the data, rather than to analyse. Data supplied by countries have been used, but in many cases these have been incomplete. It is expected that data will grow progressively in future. No data on informal health workers are included.

The WHO Regional Office for Europe, working with stakeholders, will support Member States’ efforts to strengthen their HCWF. It will continue to make the case for investment in the HCWF not only to secure health gains, but also to achieve economic and social benefits.

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