Hundreds of nurses have left their jobs in Slovak health care

But the shortage of nurses is in the thousands.

The average nurse in Slovakia is 47 years old.The average nurse in Slovakia is 47 years old. (Source: Unsplash)

Between January and September 2021, 772 nurses and birthing assistants have left their jobs in Slovak healthcare, data from the registers of nurses and birthing assistants suggests.

This represents a 20 percent increase in nurses leaving their jobs compared to the same time frame in 2020, the Slovak Chamber of Nurses and Midwives (SKSaPA) reported. SKSaPA is an independent estate organisation that works at a national level in Slovakia.

Thousands of nurses missing

The EU's average nurse per 1,000 people ratio is 8.4, but in Slovakia, it is 5.7. If Slovakia is to achieve comparable figures to the rest of the EU, it would need a total of 46,000 nurses. Slovakia’s health care currently employs 31,309 nurses.

“This means that there is a shortage of over 14,000 nurses,” the president of SKSaPA Iveta Lazorová reported.

She added that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is weakening the nursing field.

Universities specialised in training nurses have also for a long time reported a lack of finances for departments dedicated to caretaking. Despite increasing interest in the field, graduates are not immediately capable of carrying out highly specialised procedures. These require further clinical expertise and more years in school.

The average nurse in Slovakia is 47 years old, with SKSaPA having registered over 5,290 nurses over 60. These are nurses who can often take advantage of early retirement.

Universities’ lack of finances does not help the situation as schools are incapable of training new professionals fast enough to offset the large number of people leaving the field.

Pandemic could destroy nursing

The reasons for the exodus of workers from nursing are not only caused by the aging of workers in the field, SKSaPA opined. The mass departure from those positions is also driven by unfavourable working conditions, poor workplace management and low wages.

“Our proposal to modify coefficients for calculating wages, and thereby to improve the financial recompensation of nurses’ labour, is being considered by the Health Ministry. Though, we must state that only an unofficial promise to, from January 1, 2022, improve the wages of nurses, will not suffice. Nurses need to be motivated and adequately rewarded today, not tomorrow,” the president of SKSaPA stated.

The office director of SKSaPA Lukáš Kober added that “nursing is the backbone of health care, and maybe the pandemic will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back”.

Top stories

No single list of foreigners who are entitled to vote in Slovakia exists.

It is a simple question. How many foreigners vote in Slovakia?

The million-dollar question the state and towns can hardly answer.


24. sep
Reconstruction work on the Monument of Liberation and Victory, unveiled in 1955 in the Dargov mountain pass, which commemorates the liberation of eastern Slovakia from Nazism.

Police have finally found a very old book, arresting alchemy buffs

Set out on a Malá Fatra hike, avoid the Bratislava cable car from Monday.


24. sep
Not all stretches of the long-awaited D4/R7 bypass of Bratislava will open as originally planned.

Problems with Bratislava bypass opening continue

Not all of its stretches will be put into operation on Sunday as officially planned.


24. sep
Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo speaks to foreigners at [fjúžn] festival's "Ask the Mayor" event.

Foreigner’s community has a big voice, but it needs to be more organised

Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo addressed the questions and concerns of foreigners in Bratislava during a special Q&A.


23. sep
Skryť Close ad