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The Shortage of Caregivers is a major Problem for our Societies

Sciences infirmières (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) by

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 15 million more health workers are needed by 2030. Europe in particular is facing severe staff shortages, both in hospitals and in clinics. The main cause of this critic situation has been clearly identified: the population is aging. And at the same time chronic diseases are exploding. Heart disease, diabetes, dementia and respiratory infections are the leading causes of death observed worldwide. And the system of care practiced in hospitals is close to sinking. As a result more and more countries rely on foreign doctors and staffs. Here are a few examples. In 2021 more than one in five doctors in Germany did not have German nationality. Today we can estimate that in Germany there are more than 56,000 non-German doctors compared to 22,000 a decade earlier. In France more than 50,000 doctors, i.e. one doctor in four, are born outside France. However, the arrival of foreign doctors does not solve all the difficulties.In fact the majority of these new arrivals settle in towns or regions which are already well supplied with doctors. And this of course to the detriment of rural areas. In Great-Britain more than 30% of doctors are of foreign origin. The other major problem resulting from these observations is that this massive influx of foreign doctors in Western Europe leads to a severe lack of medical personnel in their countries of birth. This critical situation and in particular the aging of the population observed in many countries around the world should be of the utmost concern to our leaders.

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