The deep changes in the medical and demographic structure of population, in the social, economic and technological environment, as well as the increasing patients’ needs and citizens’ expectations affect the ability of EU healthcare systems to give proper and prompt answers. Each country can face these challenges in a different way, and its decisions clearly have a strong impact on healthcare professionals’ activities.
In this environment, HOPE selected “New roles and new skills for health professionals” as the topic for its HOPE Exchange Programme 2009, a 4-week training programme during which hospital and health care professionals with managerial responsibilities work in a foreign country on a specific topic. At the end of the training, participants gathered by country of destination prepare a presentation concerning what they have learnt about their hosting countries. During a final conference, the group presentations are discussed and three of them are awarded.
The report “New roles, new skills” presents the main findings of the conference 2009, where participants illustrated through several practical examples how changes in the healthcare systems affect healthcare professionals’ working pathways and presented the new emerging roles and skills in EU countries.
The main findings of the conference include some common tendencies in the hospital and healthcare services organisation of EU Member States but above all three important trends regarding hospital and healthcare professionals: the development of new roles, with new tasks related to new positions; the rise in new skills, mainly related to managerial abilities and ICT competencies, and ‘skills transfer’, concerning the shift of tasks and responsibilities from higher to lower professional levels.