Economy 1: Immanent Mismatch Between Demand and Supply of Health Care Workforce

  • Thomas Wetter
Part of the Health Informatics book series (HI)


The demographic development in developed western countries entails a dramatic shortage of the health care workforce. Based on census and professional association provided data and projections the amount of this shortage is calculated for the USA and Germany. In best case scenarios we still come to conclusions that, to preserve the medical service level, we need a 30 % to 80 % larger health care workforce. Otherwise the number of Old agers served by one physician resp. nurse skyrockets within 10 to 15 years.Assumptions that enter the model are double checked exclusively coming to the conclusion that apparent easing factors turn out as time bombs or double edged.Of methods presented to match future supply and demand quality assurance, growth and diversification are promising. Consumer Health Informatics is introduced as diversification which can make use of trends in ICT and ease access to otherwise under-served population s.


Health care workforce Demographic development Prognosis Old age dependency ratio Rationing Health care delivery 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Wetter
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Medical Biometry and InformaticsUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical EducationUniversity of Washington School of MedicineSeattleUSA

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