20 February 2024

European doctors’ magazine tackles health workforce crisis

The Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) is delighted to present the Winter 2024 edition of our magazine, looking ahead to the European elections with our five ambitions to continue building the European Health Union, particularly highlighting our call to tackle the health workforce. We are also honoured to include a guest article by the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU and an interview with MEP Sara Cerdas.
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To emphasise the challenge of the health workforce now and for the future, the European Junior Doctors provide a stark reality-check in a guest article presenting a study revealing widespread dissatisfaction and job disillusionment. They report that junior doctors are physically and mentally exhausted due to disproportionate patient numbers, increased bureaucratic tasks, and a lack of strategic resource planning. The report follows a trend of reports by medical associations across Europe.

In the editorial our Vice President, Dr Martin Balzan encapsulates his solution in three key messages: we need more, better and happier doctors. He reflects on over 25 years experience at the Medical Association of Malta, where in recent years the country has reversed brain drain and made the profession more attractive for young Maltese graduates.

The Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU has placed the crisis at the forefront of its agenda, the first time in over a decade a Member State has paid the topic such attention. Their guest article emphasises that sufficient health workers with the right skills are a basic condition for guaranteeing both access to healthcare for EU citizens and health emergency preparedness. The article also provides a wider overview of the health priorities of the Presidency.

In an interview, we spoke to MEP Sara Cerdas, a Portuguese medical doctor, to look back at her first term in the European Parliament and look forward to the next five years. She calls for a strategy for mental health and a standalone health committee with legislative power in the Parliament that truly considers the Health in All Policies approach.

In news from our members, the Bulgarian Medical Association report on the conclusion of their successful national Congress, calling for 7 concrete actions to improve healthcare in Bulgaria.

We are also privileged to have a guest article from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) about the 2023-25 Healthy Workplaces Campaign ‘Safe and healthy work in the digital age’ in which CPME is an official partner.

Lastly, you find the outcomes of the CPME General Assembly in November 2023, at which new policies on doctors’ wellbeing and on the adverse health effects of cannabis were among the results.  

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