Thematic Network Proposal for the 2018 EU Health Policy Forum

TThe International Network for Health Workforce Education has submitted a Thematic Network Proposal for the 2018 EU Health Policy Forum. The proposal (outlined in full below) if focused on Inter-Cultural Training for Health Professionals and aims to improve the awareness of this important issue on the policy agenda. We call on all our members to vote the proposal on the EU Health Policy Platform website by clicking here. If you are not a member of the Platform already you can register here (if you have any issues registering please see the FAQ page here). Voting closes on Thursday 7th December 2017. We thank you in advance for your support. 

Thematic Network Proposal: “Inter-Cultural Training for Health Professionals”

Increased mobility, changing demographics and high numbers of displaced persons within Europe necessitate that education of the health workforce is now much more than more simply guaranteeing clinical competence but also ensuring that health professionals can overcome issues of diverse language, communication, culture, religion and values. Intercultural education, effective communication and improved understanding between health professionals and patients is crucial for the overall functioning of the healthcare systems. Studies have shown that it has a positive impact on readmission rates, understanding treatment options, adherence to treatment and overall positive health outcomes for patients.

During a time of great change for European healthcare systems the future education of healthcare professionals is key to ensuring long term sustainability for populations. International institutions have called for policies that allow for the education of flexible health professionals capable of dealing with the ever-changing healthcare environment. A multi-stakeholder and inter-professional approach to tackling this issue is paramount to ensuring this takes place. The primary goal of intercultural education is to reduce health disparities and provide optimal care to patients regardless of their race, ethnic background, native languages spoken, and religious or cultural beliefs. Increased intercultural competences for the health workforce is a key pillar of creating a truly flexible and efficient health workforce for the future.

The proposed Thematic Network would be led by the International Network for Health Workforce Education ( and directly supported by a number of our member associations who work at the cutting edge of intercultural education and research. The aim of the Thematic Network would be to build upon the core aims outlined in previous HPF groups (such as “migration & health” and “medical education”) to ensure that the latest developments in health workforce education remain high on the EU’s policy agenda.