Health workforce


Healthcare is highly labour intensive and one of the largest economic sectors in the EU – accounting for around 17 million jobs (8% of all jobs). Ageing populations and rising demand will ensure the healthcare sector remains a key driver for jobs in the future.

Despite this, the sector faces major challenges:

  • an aging workforce and too few new recruits to replace retirees
  • significant employee turnover in some fields due to demanding working conditions and relatively low pay
  • the need for new skills to deal with innovative technologies and with the rise in chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease among the elderly.

Action plan for EU health workforce

The action plan for the EU health workforce – SWD(2012) 93 final seeks to help EU countries work together to tackle these challenges and boost employment by:

The plan is part of the broader policy document Towards a job-rich recovery – COM(2012) 173 final.

Working group on European workforce for health

Bringing together national governments and professional organisations to discuss and cooperate.

Health workforce – meeting minutes, presentations, events