Staff shortages threaten health and social care in EU - EPSU-report, 23 Feb 2010

Staff shortages in the health and social care threaten the industry. Low pay and a huge gender pay gap in occupation dominated by women will hurt even more as more people are needed in aging societies. Better and fairer wages are the only way out.

Staff shortages and problems in recruiting and retaining staff threaten the future functioning of health and social care sectors throughout the EU. Combined with new demands from an ageing population, they pose significant challenges for the sector. 

This is the alarming finding of a EPSU-report, based on data from the WageIndicator. 

Moreover it shows that workers in the health and social care in the European Union are underpaid and female workers on top face a huge gender pay gap. 

Their wages as a rule are under the national averages, ascompared to other sectors. The sector is female dominated and characterised by occupational segregation. 

Despite low wage levels many care workers have a high work morale and sense of responsibility for the people they look after . But a higher pay for health social care workers is the only way to guarantee the level of care in the future, especially when the populations are aging, adds the report. 

The study, commissioned by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), started before the economic crisis. The situation has since further deteriorated, says the EPSU. 

The study was conducted in eight countries: Belgium, the UK, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Latvia and Estonia.

You can download the full report in pdf here.

Last summer WageIndicator published a salary comparison between nurses in five countries, including the US.

The Dutch WageIndicator Loonwijzer has a special site for health care workers only.


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