It was a rather creeping process, starting off slowly around the turn of the millennium from a comfortable personnel situation in the health care market leading to a real shortage of doctors today. Looking back, there are different causes that could be pointed out when trying to explain the reason for this development, but in the current debate there is mostly just one topic that makes the headlines: Demographic change.
Now this social phenomenon has two consequences. First, it leads to general staffing problems. The majority of German doctors are old and too less young successors are following. Secondly, the ageing society is having a huge impact on the German health care system which again results in the need of more personnel. Most recent figures from the federal statistic office are alarming. Between 2009 and 2017 the cases requiring hospital treatment increased from 17,8 to 19,5 million.
However, the number of immigrating doctors from all over the planet continues to grow. With just 11039 verified doctors working in Germany in 1996, the number of practising physicians almost quintupled in little bit more than two decades. Today over 52361 foreign doctors build a significant percentage of the people working in the German health care sector helping stabilize it in the long run and preparing for future challenges.