September 16, 2019
 In 2024-Addressing Healthcare Worker Shortage

Topic: 2024-Addressing Healthcare Worker Shortage
Country: Germany
Delegate Name: Kenna Charbauski

Recently, the global healthcare worker shortage became far more apparent with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many nations lacked the facilities and staff to treat an increased number of patients. Shortages were most apparent in middle to low income nations. In order to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals, nations need to continue to prioritize increasing healthcare staff.

Current estimates state that Germany will lack 1.8 million healthcare workers by 2035. To combat this, Germany is recruiting foreign trained healthcare professionals. To do this Germany is lowering some of the requirements previously needed to obtain an EU Blue Card. EU Blue Cards allow skilled workers from outside of European Union (EU) member states to work in the EU. Germany is implementing the directions from Directive (EU) 2021/1883 to widen the number of people that can access the card. The new requirements lower salary thresholds, applicants are only required to have a university degree or vocational training, and wider groups of bottleneck professions including Veterinarians, Dentists, Pharmacists, and Nursing or midwifery professionals. To establish a precedent for recognizing foreign nursing degrees in Germany, the German Agency for International Cooperation is carrying out bilateral agreements like Triple Win. The agreement facilitates the recruitment of nurses from third world countries and their employment in Germany. In many of Germany;s partner countries, there is a surplus of nurses who are unemployed because they cannot find work in their countries. The Triple Win plan benefits these nurses because there is less labor pressure on their countries of origin, nurses will be better trained when they return to their countries of origin, and the nurse shortage in Germany will be alleviated. The program began in 2013, and since that point over 3,500 foreign born nurses have started working in Germany.

Germany understands that recruitment of nurses from foreign countries does not alleviate all of the stress on the healthcare industry. University and vocational training need to be made more accessible to increase the number of workers in the field. Nations need to continue working to meet the recommendations set forth by the UN High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth. The healthcare worker shortage is an imperative issue that needs to be solved.

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