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Research: Long-Term Shortage of Healthcare Personnel Expected to Worsen

By 2031, the shortage of healthcare personnel is expected to reach 135,000 workers, according to a study by ABF Research commissioned by the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport (VWS).

(Source: NOS) The shortages will be felt across the entire healthcare sector. However, hospitals and nursing homes will face the greatest pressure. In 2031, hospitals may experience a shortfall of 24,400 staff members, while nursing homes are anticipated to struggle even more with a deficit of 51,900 workers.

ABF Research predicts that the current shortage will rise to 49,000 people by the end of this year. This shortage is significantly lower than last year’s broader estimate, which projected a deficit of 56,000 to 74,000 healthcare workers.

To address the shortage, making healthcare jobs more attractive is a top priority.

Conny Helder, the Minister for Long-Term Care, writes in a letter to Parliament that this research provides the most precise estimate of the expected personnel shortage in the healthcare sector to date. "To reduce the shortage, making healthcare work more attractive is of high priority. In the near future, I will work on developing a follow-up approach to address labor market issues in care and welfare."

The previous forecasting model was related to the overall workforce development. The new model is specifically tailored to the healthcare and welfare sector. It also incorporates future needs for types of doctors and nurses, as estimated by the Capacity Organization. "This provides a more complete picture of the labor market in healthcare," writes Minister Helder in her letter to the House of Representatives.

According to the research, it will be particularly challenging to staff sufficient beds. There will be a significant shortage of nurses at both MBO and HBO levels. Additionally, fewer specialized geriatric doctors are expected. Currently, there is already a shortage of 500 such doctors, which is anticipated to increase to 1,100 by 2031.

Given the increasing aging population and the growing demand for care in the coming years, capacity issues are expected to remain a significant societal problem even after the pandemic and in the long term.



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