At the end of 2013, 1,125 Greek doctors worked in the area of North Rhine – Westphalia in Germany. They constitute the largest group of foreign doctors who “can contribute to the further improvement of the German health system,” said Health Minister of North Rhine – Westphalia Barbara Steffens, during a welcoming event for Greek doctors in Dortmund.
According to Deutsche Welle, in North Rhine – Westphalia, where about a quarter of Germans live, the number of foreign doctors has reached 9,400 and 1,125 (12.1%) of them are Greek.
“Germany needs the influx of skilled workers, especially in the field of health,” said the Ministry in an announcement, referring to the cooperation of the regional government of NRW with the Medical Association of Thessaloniki in Greece. At the end of 2013, 2,847 Greek doctors were working in Germany. It is the second largest group after the Romanians (3,454), followed by the Austrians (2,611) and the Poles (1,830).
Because of their high number, many young doctors in Greece are unemployed, said the announcement. “This partnership clearly benefits both countries,” noted the German Minister.
The shortage of skilled workers in many sectors of the German economy is alarming. According to a survey at the behest of the German Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM), one in nine German companies is planning to hire skilled workers from abroad.
The Executive Director of LinkedIn for Germany, Austria and Switzerland stated that the import of foreign workers will be a long-lasting trend.
According to Wirtschaftswoche financial review, German employers who hire foreign workers, focus on southern Europe and specifically Spain, Portugal and Greece.