WHO predicts a 15 million health workers shortage by 2030.

What can we do about it? The European healthcare system faces challenges in training and recruitment and in the distribution of the workforce.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there will be a shortage of 15 million health workers by 2030. The European healthcare system not only faces challenges in training and recruitment, but also in the distribution of the workforce. The latter can be resolved, at least in part, by modern worker scheduling systems, that must consider the many particular characteristics of healthcare jobs.

The trend of health worker shortages is the result of an aging global population and increased care needs with insufficient numbers of health workers to replace departing staff. In addition, the capacity for training new workers is limited. All these factors were further strengthened and aggravated by the health crisis due to Covid-19 and the so-called Great Resignation that followed.  

In a study conducted last year, the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics reported that the U.S. healthcare system will need more than 275,000 additional nurses from 2020 to 2030. Employment opportunities for nurses will increase faster than other professions by 2026. 

To reduce the overload of nurses, in addition to recruiting new staff, the challenge can be solved at least partially by optimizing work schedules.

By integrating technology solutions, healthcare organisations can improve nurses’ and other healthcare workers’ work planning and recruitment processes. Digitisation in healthcare offers advanced digital solutions for scheduling workers, but most healthcare institutions in Slovenia still use manual methods, such as Excel tables or programs, where the scheduler does most of the work.