I would like to share with you my participation in the panel discussion “Sustainability of the Health Professionals Workforce: Incentives, Gaps and Values”during the European Health Forum Gastein, in Austria, last October. I was invited in my capacity of President of the Council of European Dentists by the Public Health Directorate of the European Commission and the Standing Committee of European Doctors.
The main point of the forum was to outline the Green Paper on the European health professionals’ workforce and it was very important that they wanted listen the contributions of European dentists. My inputs to the Green Paper focused 3 crucial issues for a sustainable and effective health workforce: prevention, education and a multidisciplinary approach.
I think that the Green Paper should therefore give more attention to the role of health professionals in prevention because oral diseases are largely preventable by adopting appropriate lifestyle choices (including oral hygiene, not smoking, and so on). We should also have education in attention. Only a well-trained and educated health workforce will be able to provide safe healthcare of consistently high quality.
For a multidisciplinary approach more cooperation will be needed between all actors involved in healthcare – educators, social workers, health managers and local community administrative staff. Those were, in concise words, my mainly contributions for the so important Green Paper.