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A Worrying lack of Doctors

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There is a clear trend in Europe: an insufficient number of doctors and as a result the emergence of "medical deserts". And what is even more worrying is the continuous drop in the number of general practitioners. Take France, for example, the number of physician specialists should exceed the number of general practitioners by 2020. And besides, the problem of recruitment of qualified staff in hospitals, especially nurses, is now spreading across the continent. That is why today more and more patients have only one option: contact the emergency services at hospitals. The fact is that a majority of European countries reported vacancies in their healthcare workforce. There are 2 main reasons to explain this impasse: too few people training as health professionals and the tight budgetary situation in many States.To this we must add the choice made by an increasing number of physicians to leave rural areas. Health care needs are rapidly growing due notably to an ageing population-more than 21% are 65 or older in Germany and nearly 20% in Italy-. What cannot be disputed is that the current number of doctors-1.7 million in the 28 EU countries- is far too low. As a result, and if we take the example of the UK up to 3,000 doctors, coming from 27 different countries, have been hired by the NHS in the past year.This overall trend is not about to be reversed. However, it must also be emphasized that this exodus of young physicians attracted by better working conditions and a much higher wage will have a similar effect in their home countries: a shortage of doctors. This problem has not been solved it has only been relocated!

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