European Year of Skills: Opportunities for Health

European Year of Skills: Opportunities for Health

The event organised by the European Policy Center focused on turning the current and future challenges healthcare systems and the healthcare workforce will be facing into opportunities.

The digitalisation of healthcare creates an urgent need to upskill and reskill Europe’s healthcare workforce. Digital tools have the potential to improve care quality and accessibility, as well as reduce healthcare workers’ workload. However, without the required skills and knowledge, digital tools could create additional burdens for healthcare workers. This issue was addressed in an in-person policy dialogue in the context of the European Year of Skills. The dialogue focused on what action is needed to equip healthcare professionals with the skills required for the digitalisation of the health sector and how the EU can support member states in this endeavour. Facilitated by the Associate Director and Head of the Social Europe and Well-being Programme Elizabeth Kuiper, speakers from different backgrounds like decision, policy-makers, researchers among others, presented their approaches and possible solution on how to upskill and reskill Europe’s healthcare force.

Henriette Hansen, EU Project Manager from the South Denmark European Office, presented EUVECA’s potential and opportunities for effectively implementing digitalisation and new digital tools in European healthcare systems to decrease the burden on healthcare workers. She emphasised that EUVECA aims to contribute not only to the digital transition but also to the creation of healthcare systems and solutions. EUVECA focuses on high priorities such as ageing population, modern health consumers, the evolving roles of the healthcare sector, and personalised medicine. EUVECA intends to train healthcare staff for a yet unknown future, and the seven regional hubs aim to collaborate closely among healthcare providers and students. Additionally, EUVECA is developing a European platform where healthcare professionals and students from different regions can collaborate through webinars and apprenticeships.

In summary, the event underscored the necessity for action to prepare healthcare professionals with the skills needed to navigate successfully the digitalisation of the health sector. Projects like EUVECA are critical in contributing to a more technologically adept and well-equipped healthcare workforce to face future challenges.


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The sustainability of the European health care sector has been challenged by 6 mega trends over the last several years. To respond to these trends and achieve maximum care quality, patient safety, efficiency, and economic sustainability, the sector has undergone major changes:   

(i) Increased digitalization  

(ii) A shift towards patient-centered care 

(iii) Greater patient involvement in in co-designing care pathways