During the COVID-19 pandemic the risk for exposition to the SARS-CoV2-virus was much increased among health care professionals in daily contact with patients. The increased risk for contagion and infection among health care professionals will not only have consequences for the individuals but also a subsequent risk for spreading the virus among vulnerable population and patient groups.
Further, health care professionals are central for the functioning of the health care system and for maintaining the public health. It is therefore of critical importance to ensure that there are local guidelines and procedures for protecting health care professionals in their daily contact with patients, especially during public health crises.
Thematic framework and Nordic added value
The Nordic Committee of Senior Officials for Health and Social Affairs (EK-S) under the Nordic Council of Ministers has commissioned NordForsk to support a systematic collection of data on COVID-19 among Nordic health care workers. The aim of the initiative is to increase the knowledge base on how the pandemic affected working conditions and the safety of health care professionals.
The results could serve as an important starting point for building Nordic preparedness for protecting health care professionals in future pandemics and health care crises where lessons learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic are taken advantage of in a Nordic context. In several Nordic countries, data has already been collected on the rates of infection among health care professionals during the pandemic, and applicants are expected to utilise existing data of relevance to the topic from at least three different Nordic countries.
Applicants will be asked to describe the expected Nordic added value of their proposed project, relating to aspects such as the advantages from a Nordic comparative approach, the complementarity of data as well as of the research team, and how the results can contribute to Nordic preparedness to protect health care professionals in future crisis.
The project funded under this call is expected to communicate the results to various stakeholders nationally and internationally including the Nordic policy level.
Applicants are invited to apply for funding to establish a Nordic research project with a budget of maximum NOK 850 000 with a duration of up to 2 years. One project is expected to be funded.