The OASES project will analyse the state of art of medical desertification in Europe. OASES will analyse the main antecedents and outcomes of medical desertification in European countries, and the key differences among countries, areas and service systems.

Usually, 6 groups of reasons can explain the existence of medical deserts: physical/infrastructures, professional, educational, social-cultural, economic and political reasons.

The medical deserts may relate to lack of personnel, lack of services, service systems, high costs of services, inefficient service provision, sparsely populated areas, low income areas, low level of education in health care professions, educated personnel moving out of area, country or service sector (primary care vs. specialized care), competition between work-places or sectors (public-private) or poor work environment.

Among the countries participating in the OASES project, there are areas from Eastern and Western Europe, as well as Northern and Southern Europe. The countries also represent various health systems, tax-funded service systems as well as insurance based systems. These features enable an in-depth comparison of the antecedents of medical deserts in different countries and service systems.

Typically, desertification has been tackled using actions relating to service delivery reorientations, education, financial incentives and regulation. Service delivery reorientation includes a large number of measures such as: changes in skill mix; care integration; digitalization; development of efficiency of service delivery and service systems or privatization of service delivery and patient choice reforms.

In terms of measurement tools, OASES will provide a three different maturity level methodology (elementary, intermediate and advanced) for measuring the medical desert in Europe.