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Peer Review in Germany: Filling the gap in long-term professional care through systematic migration policies

23/10/2013 Peer Review in Germany: Filling the gap in long-term professional care through systematic migration policies

Many EU countries face the challenge of providing elderly care in the context of shortages of trained personnel. The Peer Review in Berlin (23-24 October) provided the opportunity for peer countries to explore the German approach of recruiting and training non-EU migrants.


Host Country: Germany

Date: 23-24 October 2013

Peer countries: Belgium - Croatia - Greece - Hungary - Poland - Romania - Slovakia - Slovenia - Spain - Sweden

Stakeholders: European Hospital and Healthcare Federation (HOPE), World Bank, German Marshall Fund (United States)

Ageing populations across Europe have led to increased demand for healthcare professionals. Although mobility within the EU is one method of meeting increased demand, it can drain other Member States of much-needed staff. Germany is therefore recruiting and training non-EU migrants in compliance with the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel.

Lessons learned

  • There is a need to improve the domestic delivery of long-term care (LTC), research older people’s care needs and raise the status of all LTC professions (nurses and other workers).
  • Where migrants are recruited, close cooperation is required to clarify the expectations and provide necessary training and information on the professional profile of the job migrants are applying for. Establishing the funding required for the recruitment of international care staff at the outset, and agreeing on division of costs between all parties, can facilitate better relations.
  • Internationally recognised professional qualifications and training for LTC workers are still required.
  • Gender balance in migrant LTC policies and safeguards against abuse of LTC workers are another priority area for development. Migrants should also receive cultural background information that may have an impact on their work and on their integration.
  • Providing adequate and sustainable long-term care is important in the context of the EU2020 Strategy and the European Commission’s Social Investment Package.

Peer Review Manager

Ms Ulrike Hiebl (ÖSB Consulting GmbH)