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The lack of doctors in Switzerland – And what if the Germans really went? – News


"I would like to return them", says German Health Minister Jens Spahn. But Switzerland needs – again.

The German health minister Jens Spahn criticized "the sight of Sunday" the emigration of German doctors in Switzerland. They were missing in Germany. Replacing them with Polish doctors could not be the point.

In Switzerland, Spahn's claims are noisy. The health economist Heinz Locher can understand the minister of the CDU, the German specialists now constitute almost a fifth of the Swiss health care system. Switzerland trains too few doctors.

Jürg Schlup, president of the Swiss Association of FMH Practitioners, sees positive developments. In the last ten years, Switzerland has doubled the number of places in medical schools: "These are important efforts, which we have greatly appreciated and encouraged".

Lack of staff in health care

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The Swiss healthcare sector is heavily dependent on skilled foreign workers – in our hospitals about a third are doctors, nurses and nurses who come from other countries.

In Germany, 17.7% of doctors have a German passport. In turn, for German doctors, Switzerland was once again the most popular country of emigration in 2017: Switzerland (641) leads the ranking ahead of Austria (268) and the United States (84).

Such an effort is now required in Germany. Because according to the latest data from the medical association there are currently 5,000 doctors in German hospitals: "Health Minister Spahn is under pressure," says Schlup.

An emigration of German doctors would accentuate the lack of doctors in Switzerland. However, it would still take until the bedside requests and political initiatives materialized: "Until then, we will need health specialists from neighboring countries," says Schlup.

What to do?

The German Health Minister believes that the "medical competition" in Europe of free movement of people is questionable. "This is a difficult subject," says Schlup. Because there are too few doctors in all European countries. For example, Eastern European countries are recruiting their respective doctors.

The health economist Locher, meanwhile, puts forward an idea to defuse the situation. In his opinion, a large part of the medical tasks can be detected by the nursing staff without any loss of quality.

There's no way to get around more training places.

"This is a good path that other countries are taking," says Schlup. However, even in these professions, there is no shortage of personnel. As a result, there is also a European competition in the field of assistance: "Replacing deficiencies in staff shortages is barely effective, so there is no way to get around more training places."

Schlup concludes optimistically: Switzerland has one of the best healthcare systems in the world and is well positioned. "Care requires further training efforts, but we are doing well with the medical profession".

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