Germany is experiencing a shortage of medical personnel that has continued to worsen throughout 2021. In intensive care units, 12% of job vacancies remain unfilled.
The ongoing nursing shortage in Germany
Germany’s hospitals have been experiencing a shortage of nursing staff for several years, and this shortage worsened last year. In 2021, there were approximately 14,000 vacant positions for registered nurses in German clinics, with an additional 8,000 vacancies in intensive care units.
Gerald Gaß, the chairman of the German Hospital Association (DKG), disclosed that the vacancy rate for regular nurses in normal wards was approximately 6 percent, while the vacancy rate in intensive care units was approximately 12 percent.
According to Gaß, the staff shortage had worsened exponentially over the past five years, when there were only 3,900 vacancies in normal wards.
German hospitals have no reserve personnel
Gaß acknowledged the difficulty of filling so many positions and claimed that this is an extremely challenging scenario, particularly during periods of ongoing high stress. Some intensive care hospitals had to temporarily or permanently shut down during the coronavirus pandemic due to a lack of reserve staff.
In the previous year, it took an average of 17 weeks for a skilled worker to fill a regular nursing position, whereas it took 21 weeks to fill an intensive specialized vacancy.
Gaß cited a number of causes for the labor shortfall, including the fact that baby boomers have either retired or are taking early retirement. In addition, more workers are taking more time off for parental leave, and nurses working in cities are stepping in for those working in rural regions, which frequently strains the workforce. This creates a vicious cycle where many surviving nurses leave their positions due to heavier workloads.
“To conclude, we can say that there is an acute shortage of healthcare staff in Germany, which opens up doors for you to go and work here. We are tirelessly working to bridge the gap and make it easy for you to get a job in one of the best hospitals in Germany.” says Mr. Arun Kumar Ojha, Director, Dynamic health staff.