Erika Schulz, Flavia Coda Moscarola, Stanislawa Golinowska, Marek Radvansky, Johannes Geyer
This paper shows the impact of demographic change on the demand for and supply of health care workforce in five countries until 2025: Denmark, Germany, Italy, Poland and Slovakia. The demographic change in all these countries is characterized by two developments (a) an ageing of the population forced by the shift of the baby-boomer to higher ages and the further increase in life expectancy, (b) the changes in the size of the population forced mainly by emigration and immigration flows. On the one hand, the ageing of the population leads to an increase in the demand for health care services as elderly need more medical and therapeutically treatments than younger people. On the other hand, the ageing of the health workforce leads to a significant proportion of health professionals retiring. In addition, an population growth due to immigration further strengthens demand for health care services, and increases the number of persons active at the labour market immediately. A decline in population size due to emigration has the opposite effect. We employed an utilization approach to quantify the changes in the demand for health care services and its workforce. In order to calculate changes in labour supply we used a top-down approach. The changes in employment are calculated based on the results of the macro-economic model NEMESIS. Depending on the demographic development a marked increasein demand for health workforce is expected in Denmark, Italy and Slovakia, and a moderate increase or decline in Germany and Poland. The results indicate particularly for Italy a significant pressure on the health care market in the coming years.