Research: long-term shortage of healthcare workers only bigger

In 2031, the shortage of healthcare staff is expected to rise to 135,000 employees. This is evidenced by research by ABF Research commissioned by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS).

The shortages will be felt throughout the healthcare sector. But hospitals and nursing homes in particular will be under pressure. In 2031, hospitals may face a shortage of 24,400 people. The nursing homes are expected to get even more spicy with a shortage of 51,900 people.

Over the course of this year, the researchers at ABF Research expect that the current deficit will already rise to 49,000 people. That deficit is significantly lower than the coarser estimate last year. At that time, 56,000 to 74,000 too few healthcare workers were assumed.

Conny Helder, the Minister for Long-Term Care, writes in a letter of parliament that with this investigation, the expected staff shortage in care has not previously been so precisely estimated. โ€œTo reduce the shortage, making working in healthcare more attractive is a high priority. In the coming period, I will be working on developing a follow-up approach for labour market issues in care and well-being.โ€

Capacity problems after the corona pandemic

Among other things, the old prediction model was related to the development of the total workforce. The new model is specifically tailored to the care and well-being sector. The future needs for type of doctors and nurses, as estimated by the Capacity Body, are also included in the model. โ€œThis paints a more complete picture of the labour market in healthcare,โ€ said Minister Helder in the letter to the House of Representatives.

According to the research, it will be especially difficult to get enough hands to the bed. Because, above all, there will be too few nurses at both MBO and higher professional education levels. It is also pointed out that even fewer specialized doctors in the elderly medicine are expected. At the moment, there is already a shortage of 500 such doctors. In 2031, that shortage is expected to increase to 1100 doctors.

Given the increasing ageing population and thus a growing demand for care in the coming years, capacity problems appear to be a significant social problem even after the pandemic and in the long term.