From: Exit News
2000 Albanian Nurses Left for Germany in Two Years

The German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) released figures showing that Albanian nurses going to work in the country totaled 2064 between 2016 and 2018.

The overall number of recognized foreign nurses in the country reached 10,350 in 2018 and Albanians were the most represented nation, along with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and the Philippines.

Exit contacted Destatis for exact figures and found that in 2016, 87 Albanian nurses went to Germany. This number increased to 735 in 2017, and then 1242 in 2018, or over 700% increase between 2016 and 2017 , and 1300% increase from 2016 to 2018.

Qualified healthcare professionals are in demand in Germany and the government is actively encouraging the immigration of skilled nurses to work in the German healthcare system.

Prime Minister Edi Rama has often downplayed the effect in the Albanian healthcare system of medical professionals’ leaving the country. He has argued that everyone is free to travel and work anywhere in the world, and that Albania is not suffering because of this.

During the graduation ceremony of Albanian medical students on 20 February, while addressing the 1600 graduates in attendance, Rama said that claims made by the Opposition that doctors and nurses are leaving Albania en masse to work abroad were false. 

“There is no shortage of doctors in Albania…During 2018-2019, 400 new physicians were hired, not only of age, but also of overseas returnees, and 2200 nurses. Many people are listening to the news say there are no doctors, no nurses, everyone is gone. Today we are talking about 1500 nurses on the waiting list on the “Nurses for Albania” portal, a transparent mirror that does not lie.  We don’t have this problem,” Rama said.