According to a study by Frames, Romania’s aging population and diseases are becoming a social and economic bomb, and the country urgently requires 50,000 nurses.
The condition of health care in Romania has entered a zone of health risk due to the migration of specialised staff (doctors, nurses, nurses) overseas. Romania urgently requires more than 50,000 nurses to meet the health difficulties that an ageing population and the deteriorating health of vulnerable groups, particularly children and the elderly, will pose in the coming years.
Romania’s population is aging and becoming sicker with each passing year. According to data from the National Institute of Statistics, our country’s elderly population has surpassed the young people by more than 20%, with the trend expected to continue in the coming years.
For example, the number of individuals over 65 has surpassed 3.8 million (17.5% of the total), while the number of children is just 3.19 million (14.5%).
The 50-54 age group (8.9%) had the most significant share of the entire population on January 1, 2022, a category that will retire in 10-15 years.
Romania has one of Europe’s lowest life expectancy rates. The primary cause of mortality is cardiovascular disease, while lung cancer is the most common cancer.
Romanians consume more alcohol and eat more unhealthy foods than the EU average. In Romania, adolescent obesity, smoking, and overweight are all on the rise and have been for the past two decades.
According to the Frames study, Romania urgently needs a national training strategy in healthcare, which was carried out at the initiative of the „Carol Davila” Post-secondary Sanitary School and the „Dr Mioara Mincu” Theoretical High School in Bucharest.
The need for staff in clinics, hospitals and medical offices in the country is huge and will increase significantly in the coming years, as the population ages. Even though the number of employees trained by us and other institutions has increased in recent years, due to migration, many of the health fields are facing an acute staffing crisis, so, in terms of population, we still need at least 50,000 nurses ”, says Prof. Aurelia Şova, director of the Post-secondary Sanitary School „Carol Davila”.
According to the National Institute of Statistics, 137,589 nurses with average training in Romania in 2020, up 18,000 from 2015. More than 16,784 nurses with a higher degree have been added.
According to Eurostat data, despite a rise in the number of employees over the last decade, the number of doctors and nurses remains considerably below EU averages.
In 2019, there were 3.2 doctors per 1,000 people, one of the lowest ratios in the EU (the EU average is 3.9), and 7.5 nurses per 1,000 people (EU average of 8.4).
According to a study undertaken by the Center for Research and Social Development, „Solidarity” on the position of nurses in public health facilities in Romania, the number of nurses has declined by 25% in the last 23 years, while the number of patients has climbed by 12%.
According to analysts, the number of nurses travelling overseas might exceed 100,000, with Romania likely to be the greatest provider of nurses in the European labour market. The Romanian public health system now has the largest nursing shortfall.
According to „Study on the Situation of Nurses in Public Health Units in the United States,” The COVID-19 epidemic has exacerbated the fragile situation of the global healthcare workforce according to a report by the International Council of Nurses (ICN). According to the analysis, up to 13 million more nurses will be required during the next decade, about half of the existing workforce of 28 million.
In the next ten years, one out of every six nurses is predicted to retire, requiring 4.7 million new nurses to replace those who are retiring.
Romanians’ access to health care has become more complex than ever, especially in rural areas, causing a worsening of the population’s health problems, which are frequent and preventable.
The rate of preventable mortality is the third highest in the EU, with its leading causes being cardiovascular disease, lung cancer and alcohol-related deaths. Mortality from treatable causes is more than twice the EU average and includes treatable deaths from prostate and breast cancer that can be treated, ” said the European Commission’s State of Health in the EU – Romania 2021 report.
Nurses are in high demand, particularly in rural areas. According to the Frames study, there are hundreds of counties where the medical system is nearly paralysed due to a lack of staff, particularly in the preventative field.