Better managing the mobility of health professionals in the Republic of Moldova – context, challenges, and lessons learned
30 March 2015

Ambassador Pirkka Tapiola, Head of Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova.
This month marks the conclusion of the project "Better managing the mobility of health professionals in the Republic of Moldova", which was financed by the European Union and supported by WHO/Europe. Representatives of Parliament, the government of the Republic of Moldova, the delegation of the European Union , WHO experts, and other national stakeholders attended a conference held as a closing event in Chisinau to mark the occasion and review the key achievements of the programme.

Building an evidence base for policy decisions

For the past four years, this initiative has worked to analyse the migration of health professionals and to strengthen management capacities for human resources for health (HRH) in the Republic of Moldova. As health professionals have continued to migrate abroad over the past 20 years in search of more lucrative and rewarding opportunities, the Republic of Moldova has suffered from brain drain and brain waste. To combat this, "Better managing the mobility of health professionals in the Republic of Moldova" has worked to promote legal and circular migration, diminish the negative effects of brain drain and brain waste, and facilitate the reintegration of health professionals returning to the national health system. The project succeeded in identifying issues concerning the migration and mobility of health workers and in developing mechanisms for the motivation and retention of health personnel at the national level, which have been instrumental in strengthening the Republic of Moldova's health systems.

Key achievements of the project include:

  • the completion of a series of studies regarding the migration of health professionals that has generated evidence to inform decision- and policy-making;
  • the launch of a database that compiles data on health professionals' employment and mobility, job vacancies and turnover, and continuing professional education in order to more efficiently manage HRH;
  • the conduct of a training course on HRH management and governance by the School of Public Health;
    the development of an e-learning platform for migrant health professionals who intend to return to the Republic of Moldova;
  • the adjustment of post-university and nursing curricula to meet European and international standards for professional education; and
  • the development of a model bilateral agreement and support throughout the negotiation and signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Republic of Moldova and the Federal Republic of Germany.
    Finding a larger audience

As part of the project, the WHO Country Office in the Republic of Moldova coordinated production of the video "Mobility of health professionals in the Republic of Moldova – context, challenges, results and lessons learned" to present the initiative to a larger audience. Through interviews with health professionals who have chosen to migrate, as well as government officials and other stakeholders in the domestic healthcare system, the video covers national, regional and global migration of health professionals, recommendations and conclusions of the studies, and the opinions of beneficiaries and their counterparts. The film was produced with financial support from the European Union and presented as part of the closing conference and is available on our website.

WHO support for this activity was part of the Biennial Collaborative Agreements 2012–2013 and 2014–2015 between the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Moldova and WHO Regional Office for Europe. Records of all activities and results achieved by the project have been transferred to the Ministry of Health and other national partners.

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