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ISSN: 1734-1922
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abstract:
Letter to the Editor

Migrations of nurses and doctors from Poland: data for the years 2014–2020 based on the sample of the capital city of Warsaw

Rafał Szpakowski, Grażyna Dykowska, Adam Fronczak, Patrycja Zając, Aleksandra Czerw

Arch Med Sci
Online publish date: 2017/08/02
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According to the European Observatory of Health Systems and Policy, international migration of health workers should become a key component of the health policy at the present time [1, 2]. This statement, on the one hand, is based on United Nations data relating to aging of the global population [3], which means that more and more people will demand medical care, and on the other hand, it is based on WHO data relating to the chronic shortage of health workers in many countries around the world [4]. In the next 25 years, the proportion of people aged 60 or over of the world population will increase from nearly 12% (2013) to approximately 21% (2050) [3]. Satisfying the demand for health services requires, first of all, ensuring a sufficient number of health workers [4]. But here is the problem: the generation gap of the health workforce. In Poland, human resources (doctors and nurses) in health care are critically low (the ratio of health workers to population) compared to other EU countries [5, 6]. According to Eurostat estimates, the percentage of people aged 65+ in the Polish population will reach 34.5% in 2060 (13.5% in 2010). It means that Poland is currently one of the youngest EU countries, but in the long-term perspective, Poland will become one of the oldest populations of the EU [7]. Imposing the current level of human resources (nurses and doctors) in the Polish healthcare system on the upcoming demographic changes, it seems that the ability of the Polish healthcare system to meet the future needs of the aging population will undoubtedly be a huge challenge (in terms of providing sufficient human resources) for health policy makers in Poland [5–7]. Due to the chronic shortage of health workers [4–6], migration of nurses and doctors may be crucial in the near future. But this migration from Poland is not monitored in a reliable way, and for this reason, official data on migration of nurses and doctors, at approximately 7% of those engaged in the occupation in the years 2004–2014 [8, 9], should be treated only as an estimate of the willingness to work abroad and not the real migration scale of Polish health workers. Our study aimed to gain knowledge not only about the scale of migration among Warsaw doctors and nurses, but also the motives and barriers of migration, directions and temporary nature of migration. Our study aimed to identify the factors that influence nurses’ and doctors’ decisions to migrate from Poland.
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