EPSU analysis confirmed: Europe has a severe shortage of health care professionals

Hospital bedroom

(17 December 2020) The European Commission published an annual report on skill shortages and surpluses in Europe. Its latest report confirms what our action showed on 29 October. Almost all EU countries (22) report a shortage of health care professionals such as doctors, nurses and health care assistants.

This report covers the covers the period 2019-2020. The European labour market was strongly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report includes a preliminary analyses of the impact of that pandemic on skill shortages. There is a somewhat higher demand for health care professionals but the underlying trend is clear. The governments of the European Union do not invest enough in the people that deliver health and care to ensure all can enjoy the right to quality care. That is an issue of staff and of attractiveness (salaries). A lack of staff means further high levels of work pressure with its impact.

It is high time to address this and the European Health Union with its plans on preparedness and the EU4Health programme offer starting points. What we do not need is the European Commission criticising Member States that invest in health care, more staff and better pay and conditions.

For the report on Skill shortages and surpluses

EPSU on the European Health Union

Our reaction on the EU4Health programme

EPSU on the European Commission’s attack on wages for health care workers