Nursing staff in Schleswig-Holstein: Skilled workers are recruited in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Tunisia and the Philippines
Photo: Daniel Bockwoldt / dpa
It is a horror idea for potential patients: in the middle of the pandemic, thousands of nurses are leaving their jobs.
But so far, according to official information, this phenomenon, known in the industry as "Pflexit" and also described in SPIEGEL, does not exist.
It is true that between the beginning of April and the end of July 2020 around 9,000 people actually turned their backs on the care profession during the pandemic, and that is why the number of elderly and nursing staff fell by 0.5 percent in the months of March to July 2020.
According to the Federal Employment Agency, this is a seasonal decline that can be determined every year - and is not primarily due to the pandemic.
The causes are therefore apprenticeship contracts that have ended and adjusted staffing processes before the summer vacation.
Overall, however, the number of employees in care has actually increased during the corona pandemic.
In October 2020, there were 1.77 million employees subject to social security contributions in health and geriatric care, according to a statement from the Federal Agency in Nuremberg.
That is 43,300 more than a year earlier.
There was also a plus from 2019 to 2020.
In the past five years, employment in nursing has increased by 14 percent.
Nevertheless, according to the Federal Agency, there can be fluctuation processes.
Thousands of vacancies remain
Despite the increase in employment, the need for skilled workers in nursing is considerable.
Medical progress and the higher average age led to an increased need.
There are currently 12,700 registered positions for skilled workers in health care, only 5800 unemployed.
In the care of the elderly, only 3,600 unemployed are registered for 12,800 jobs.
However, there are more applicants than jobs, at least among nursing assistants in both the health and elderly care sectors.
The Federal Employment Agency is trying to get the problem under control, among other things with retraining.
Since 2015, more than 40,000 people have become carers.
The agency is also trying to bring skilled workers to Germany from abroad - for example from countries such as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Tunisia and the Philippines.
Here, however, the travel restrictions in the corona pandemic, among other things, had caused recruitment efforts to stall.
apr / dpa