475,000 additional nursing specialists needed by 2030

aerzteblatt.de 23.11.2017

475,000 additional nursing specialists needed by 2030

Berlin – Leading up to year 2030, the number of people in need of care will grow by 34 % up to 4.1 million. 400,000 additional fully stationary care places will be needed, a required investment up to € 85 billion is anticipated. In addition up to 475,000 full time nursing specialists and employees are needed. As reported by the consulting company Deloitte together with the Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI – Leipniz institution for economic research) and the hcb GmbH.

“Already the number of registered open positions is at in historic high”, says author of the study ‘Pflegeheim Rating Report 2017’ (‘nursing home rating report 2017’). In this context they talked about ‘significant challenges’, which nursing homes are facing. “This tremendous societal challenge requires a holistic package of measures, which includes strengthening outpatient care, increasing the attraction of the nursing profession, the reduction of bureaucracy, investing more capital and the consequential usage of digitization and technology”, explains Sebastian Krolop, partner and head of Life Sciences and Health Care at Deloitte.

Attractive working conditions are extremely important. That is why the residence time of the nursing profession and the fulltime employment ratio should be extended as well as gaining new apprentices. “In addition to that the wages of qualified personnel has to be raised in comparison to assistants”, says the author. Necessary are also less bureaucracy, a good leadership culture, higher social status of the profession, a better work-life-balance and better career opportunities.

For this report, which is published every two years, economists have evaluated 432 annual accounts that include 2,050 nursing homes. Furthermore the report takes official data of the German Federal Statistical Office of all around 13,600 nursing homes and 13,300 outpatient services into account.

The authors report that the amount of new patients at nursing homes, who are directly transferred by hospitals, with 70 % more than doubled in the last ten years. Simultaneously the number of people in need of care of the lightest level one is increasing continuously at nursing homes. ”Both developments are alarming, but with measures like rehabilitation before care, short-time care, involvement of social services and usage of technology for a better exchange of information or as part of Ambient Assisted Living, many of the home residents could stay in their usual environment”, state the authors and criticize, “relatives and the affected person are often highly overstrained. This is where we clearly expect more from politics.”

Considered economically the nursing sector is a growing market according to the study. “The nursing market is economically successful and can look forward to a significant growth within the next years. By 2030 the market volume will have grown from around 47 nowadays to over€ 66 billion.” The economic situation of nursing homes is good – only 2 % of analyzed nursing homes are in danger of insolvency. Over 80 % are in the green area with a low danger of insolvency. Only ten percent generated an annual loss.

“Politicians are advised to restrict legal requirements to a minimum. This is why for example, guidelines regarding the size of the nursing homes or the amount of 1-bed rooms are redundant”, recommend the authors of the study. Overall it should be important to measure quality and making it transparent as well as establishing a sufficient offer of institutions. When all of that is given, the people in need of care and their relatives can choose a home that meets their requirements and that they can afford, told the authors.

(Translation by CiG)