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In honour of the International Nurses Day, we would like to draw attention to the acute shortage of skilled workers in the German health care system


Especially in these difficult times, nursing employees are fighting for us at the front line. Thank you most sincerely for this! 
But it is precisely this field of work that urgently needs support, as Johanna Knüppel from the German Federal Association for Nursing Professions also sharply criticised the course of German politics in the field of nursing care in an interview with Saarländischer Rundfunk. Co-determination rights would be missing. In addition, the nursing sector is unfortunately not an interesting job description for many young people in Germany. There is sometimes talk of a chronic overload of nursing employees. At the same time, it has never been so easy for German companies to recruit skilled workers from abroad. Particularly in sectors where there is an acute shortage of personnel, companies are looking abroad. In spite of the excellent health system, there is a shortage of qualified specialists in nursing professions for the most part. Just before the corona epidemic reached Germany, the shortage of personnel in this sector was acute. This shortage is, among other things, the reason for the adoption of the new Skilled Worker Immigration Act on 01.03.2020, which also simplifies the entry of skilled workers from all over the world (South and Central America, Africa, Asia, Middle East) for the purpose of taking up employment. With the help of the law, it is also possible for third-country nationals who have a relevant professional qualification to obtain an entry visa within a few weeks. While we have already informed you in our previous article about the new Immigration of Skilled Workers Act, we would like to present the situation shortly before the Corona Epidemic in the following Especially the Corona Epidemic has raised public awareness of the shortage in the nursing professions. This could lead to changes in the occupational profile in the future, which would make the nursing profession even more attractive.

Staff shortage in clinics ever greater

It is not only in nursing homes that there is an acute shortage of skilled workers. The situation is also worsening in clinics. According to a report, four out of five hospitals are having problems filling vacancies.
According to a newspaper report, the personnel shortage in German clinics is becoming more and more massive. Four out of five hospitals are having problems filling vacant nursing positions - writes the newspaper "Tagesspiegel" referring to the hospital barometer of the German Hospital Institute.
According to the report, approximately 17,000 nursing positions are unfilled nationwide. The situation is hardly any different for physicians, it says: 76 percent of the almost 2000 hospitals are struggling to find physicians for vacant positions. The consequences of the shortage of specialists: In every third home, intensive care beds would have had to be temporarily blocked and specialist departments would have had to be deregistered from emergency care.
"Serious supply crisis"
The figures made it clear "what enormous pressure there is to act in order to get more people interested in the nursing profession," said the President of the German Hospital Federation (DKG), Gerald Gaß. The situation is becoming "dramatically worse". Politicians must "urgently take effective countermeasures to relieve the burden on staff, otherwise we are heading for a serious care crisis".

Shortage of skilled staff in nursing care for the elderly is continuing to increase

Operators of nursing homes often need a long time to fill vacancies. This is unlikely to change so quickly, because according to the Federal Employment Agency, the industry is increasingly lacking skilled workers.
According to the Federal Employment Agency (BA), nursing homes in Germany must continue to face problems in filling vacant nursing care jobs for the time being. The shortage of skilled workers in the industry has recently increased further, the BA announced on the occasion of the "Day of Care".
Not enough applicants
In the meantime, there is a shortage of skilled workers in this area nationwide. "There is no state in Germany with a sufficient number of unemployed applicants to fill the vacancies reported to the Federal Agency," the Nuremberg federal authority concludes in an analysis. However, this only applies to certified geriatric nursing specialists, not to geriatric nursing assistants
According to information from the Federal Agency, an annual average of 15,300 vacancies will be available in 2018 for almost 3,100 unemployed skilled workers in the field of nursing care for the elderly. As a result, it would now take 183 days for home operators to fill a vacant nursing position, twelve days longer than in 2017.

Situation in the hospitals

The situation for nurses is also difficult, although not quite as dramatic. Here, too, there is a great need for qualified personnel. On average, about 6000 unemployed registered nurses with special qualifications and specialisations were registered with the Federal Agency. However, 14,900 were sought by hospitals.
According to the Federal Agency, part of the problem of skilled workers could be solved by encouraging part-time nursing staff to extend their working hours. According to BA data, 56 percent of the nursing staff worked part-time in June last year, and 44 percent in nursing care. In all other professions, on the other hand, this proportion is only 28 percent on average.