Making medical deserts bloom


Welcome to the OASES website! OASES is a research project (No.101018341) co- funded by the Third Health Programme of the European Union. The OASES team started this very important journey to work for better health systems and developing the health workforce in Europe. OASES is dedicated to providing a methodological knowledge and detailed analysis of the different problems that cause medical deserts. After identifying the various factors contributing to the desertification, possible solutions and the process of their implementation will be mapped as well. Come and join us to this exciting journey to make medical deserts bloom!

Read our latest news

Our new report on the state of the art of desertification in Europe and ways to mitigate desertification is available now!

It becomes more than urgent to promote evidence-based reforms to address the challenges
that the European health workforce is facing. For this purpose, it is necessary to analyse the
current situation, to provide a common framework and a common understanding of this
phenomenon knowing the specificities of each country, including a definition and taxonomy
of the concept of medical desert and a measurement methodology.

OASES presentation in EHMA2023

OASES WP4 partner Véronique Lucas-Gabrielli (
IRDES) presented  about OASES in the annual EHMA conference 5-7 June 2023 in Rome in the abstract session “Health systems’ policies and regulations”.

The conference was a great opportunity to present the methods and indicators that we plan to use to measure medical deserts in the OASES project.



OASES was presented in the 17th World Congress on Public Health in Rome

Our colleague, OASES WP6 leader, Monica Brinzac, had a presentation during the 17th World Congress on Public Health about the OASES project.

The focus of the presentation was,

A framework for implementing pilot studies on medical deserts in Cyprus, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, the Republic of Moldova and Romania”

in the frames of the Research, Theories, and Methods in Public Health session.

We are glad that the pilot studies received such an interest from the audience and we are looking forward to sharing with you the final report on medical deserts in Europe.

Policy Board


OASES project organised its second online Policy Board meeting on the 1st of March 2023.

In the event the applied methodology for measuring medical deserts and the case study of Italy was presented.
In the second part of the meeting participants shared their views on stakeholder involvement and the sustainability of measuring medical deserts in their countries.

The Policy Board is an external body composed by representatives of Ministries of Health and other competent authorities of the EU Member States and other European countries involved in the project. The role of the Policy Board is to give input to sustainability plans from the focus of policy, and the definition of core messages to support evidence-based policy making with respect to sustainability of OASES results.
The Policy Board has a key role in guaranteeing the sustainability of the project and the impact after the end of the project. In addition, the policy board included in OASES will allow maximizing the participation of policy makers.

Mitigating medical desertification

In the OASES project, we collected grey literature from the OASES participating countries in order to identify the determinants and ways to mitigate medical desertification. Several ways to mitigate medical desertification have been implemented at national, regional and local level.
The figure below presents highlights of the effective ways used in OASES participating countries.

Moona Huhtakangas: Organizational aspects of medical desertification


OASES project is focusing on the following issues:

  • A lack of specialist doctors in a municipality.
  • Difficulties to retain general practitioners in a remote area.
  • Barriers to attract midwives to a rural community.
  • Challenges in recruiting young nurses in a poor city.
  • Scarce stock to replace retiring health workers.
  • Lengthy waiting times and long distances when accessing health primary care services.

WHO has now published a useful tool, that can be helpful for us when concidering the above topics.

Find here the: Health labour market analysis guidebook

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OASES Consortium – Several institutes from all parts of Europe and with widespread backgrounds gathered together and created the OASES team. The team members work at various settings, academic and education institutes, research centers and development agencies with healthcare service management profile.


OASES analysis – OASES research on medical deserts is being designed by the OASES team. Key contemporary academic and grey literature will be mapped by using the AAAQ framework in order to explore the medical deserts in Europe. The literature review aims to investigate diverse aspects of medical desertification and reveal the most frequent factors that cause medical deserts. Read more about our framework for literature review here.

You can find us

AGENAS – Agenzia Nazionale per i Servizi Sanitari Regionali
via Piemonte 60,
00187 – Roma (RM) – Italia