June 13, 2024

Japa: 7 EU countries in need of doctors, nurses; offer visas to foreign healthcare workers

By Efosa Taiwo

7 European countries are in ‘dire need’ of doctors and nurses, prompting them to ease work visa procedures as they aim to attract foreign healthcare workers to tackle the shortages.

A recent report from the 2023 EURES on shortages and surpluses highlighted critical shortages in healthcare occupations across several European Union countries.

Specialist doctors and nursing professionals are particularly in high demand, prompting these nations to streamline work visa procedures for foreign healthcare workers, as reported by Schengen.News.

The countries include: Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, and Denmark.

These countries have identified significant shortages in various healthcare roles with Ireland and Switzerland standing out among EURES countries with the highest reliance on foreign doctors and nurses, according to the EURES report.

The most sought-after healthcare professions in these countries include: specialist medical practitioners, generalist medical practitioners, nursing professionals, health care assistants, midwifery professionals, physiotherapists, dentists, pharmacists, and audiologists and speech therapists.

Despite efforts to address these shortages, the challenge is made worse by an aging population in many EU nations, thereby increasing dependence on foreign healthcare professionals.

This trend suggests opportunities for foreign professionals looking to secure employment and work visas in these sectors.

Germany, in particular, has seen a significant influx of foreign medical practitioners. According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), 12% of doctors practicing in Germany—amounting to 62,000 individuals—were foreigners in 2023, marking a notable increase from previous years.

Germany has also welcomed 115,000 foreign doctors in recent years in what is a testament to the country’s reliance on international medical expertise.

However, the country still faces a pressing shortage of nurses, with an anticipated need for an additional 150,000 nurses by 2025, as reported by Schengen.News in December 2023.

To mitigate this shortfall, German authorities are actively seeking nursing professionals from abroad, including regions like Latin America.

Visa procedures eased to attract foreign workers

Several EU countries, including Germany and Denmark, have recently relaxed immigration laws, which enhances the prospects for foreign workers seeking employment and work visas in these nations.

Vanguard News