A Roadmap OUT of mEdical deserts into supportive Health Workforce initiatives and policies (ROUTE-HWF)
ROUTE-HWF is a consortium project co-funded by the European Union’s Health Programme that conducts research to help EU Member States to design and implement their own health workforce policies related to medical deserts
Applying and Assessing the Definition, Taxonomy and Guidelines for Monitoring and Measuring Medical Deserts
Friday 9th December 2022
Our latest results
Highlights for D4.1 First version of definition & taxonomy of medical deserts:
- Several dimensions are defined in the literature to identify an area as a medical desert. Next to geographical distances and travel times to health facilities, demographic, social or health characteristics of the population and the health workforce to population ratio are used.
- Based on the literature, survey data and stakeholder consultations in five different countries, we selected and specified four key dimensions as most distinctive to construct a first taxonomy of medical deserts: (1) % of population 65+, (2) economic resources of the population; (3) travel time to public health facilities by public transport, (4) population-provider ratio.
- The first version of the ROUTE-HWF medical desert taxonomy is based on unique combinations of the four dimensions, identifying 15 different types of medical deserts, each of which might require different approaches and solutions for desertification.
Highlights for D5.1 First version of guidelines for measuring & monitoring medical deserts:
- In a separate ROUTE-HWF report, we build upon the first version of the medical desert taxonomy and propose a set of guidelines to measure and monitor the four key dimensions: (1) % of population 65+, (2) economic resources of the population; (3) travel time to public health facilities by public transport, (4) population-provider ratio.
- Different data sources, methods and indicators are needed to apply the taxonomy, i.e. to (a) identify, (b) measure and (c) monitor medical desert areas within and across countries.
- The set of guidelines provides a first operationalization of the ROUTE-HWF medical desert taxonomy, which will be tested across different European countries and areas.
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Support for the Ukrainian people and health workforce.
Recently, the whole world is living with the shocking event of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. Millions of Ukrainian people are the innocent victims of this war. The humanitarian situation in many Ukrainian cities is extremely difficult and consequences on civilians will be devastating.
At this extremely difficult time, Ukrainian healthcare system is in need of different kind of urgent support. As the war escalates, health professionals are responding to a deepening crisis. Medical professionals are providing health services 24/7. Nevertheless, it should be stressed that this is a huge challenge for medical staff and for healthcare system: the Covid-19 pandemic has put an enormous burden on medical staff, and meanwhile they are facing a new traumatic challenge.
International organisations work on various fronts to provide medical support and assistance to Ukraine and neighboring countries, where more than one million refugees have fled.