One more sector of health professionals is suffering in Greece after the effects of the economic crisis. Not only are Greek doctors leaving the country as fast as they can to work abroad, nurses are now proving to be the next weak link of the Greek health system.
One in four nurses are currently unemployed, while at the same time the flow of students in nursing schools continues unabated. The “exodus” from Greece in order to search for a job abroad is very common and since 2009 there has even been a 1,052% increase in applications.
Dimitris Skoutelis, President of the Hellenic Nurses Association (HNA) presented the disappointing data from the health sector to a joint meeting between the Chiefs of Medical, Nursing and Dental Services which took place under the Greek Presidency of the European Council.
Skoutelis mentioned that many promotional flyers arrive at HNA offices daily, seeking nurses who wish to work abroad. Australia, Canada and especially the Arab countries are looking to hire nurses with very high salaries in order to staff hospitals and meet their countries’ increased needs.
According to data from HNA, and as a result of requests made competently for certificate of good occupational status (good standing), from 2009 , the year before the economic crisis compared with 2014, the increase reaches 1052%. The year 2012, was recorded as the year that the demand for immigration licenses reached its peak, while 2013 reflected a decrease of the interest of nurses to work abroad.