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Parliamentary questions
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19 June 2020
Priority question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Clotilde Armand (Renew)
 Subject: Inequalities in access to healthcare as a result of the migration of medical workers

The migration of medical workers from poorer to richer Member States during the last 15 years has led eastern Europeans to suffer the effects of a severe shortage of staff and reduced access to medical care for patients. At the same time, EU countries in western Europe are benefiting from the imported workforce for which they did not make investments in terms of education and training. For instance, Romania lost 50 % of its doctors between 2009 and 2015, and 10 % leave the country every year to treat patients in the West. This contradicts the Union’s objective of solidarity. It is also in breach of Member States’ international obligations under the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel. To safeguard social justice in the EU, we need to create mechanisms that compensate for the imbalanced distribution of medical staff across the EU.

Since the Commission plays an important coordination role in relation to social and employment issues, does it plan to adopt equality of access to medical care as a guiding principle in its future work? Is the Commission carrying out research into and an assessment of imbalanced medical labour migration, and are there any examples of such findings being factored into the Commission’s legislative initiatives?

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