Europe’s ageing population will face doctor shortage

by Roberta Lunghini - 2014.04.01

While the European population is getting older, health workers in the EU health are facing extinction. It is estimated that by 2020, 230,000 doctor's roles and 590,000 nursing positions will need to be filled. In less than a decade, there will be a professional shortfall of 1 million jobs in the health sector (including all roles). This means that about 14% of the total demand for health services may not be covered. This prediction is reflected in Italy, where almost 42% of national health service doctors are over 55. There are 14,280 aged over 60 compared to 13,196 aged 30 to 39. This vacuum of personnel is destined be filled increasingly by immigrants. Already in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland, 30% of foreign doctors are from non-EU countries. This percentage rises to 60% in France and Italy and even 80% in Ireland and the UK. These findings are a report prepared as part of the project "Health Workers 4all".

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