Japan likely to face shortage of 270,000 nursing staff by 2025

Japan could face a shortage of up to 270,000 nursing staff by 2025 amid an aging and declining population, the welfare ministry said Monday.
The estimate, which covers registered nurses, assistant nurses, public health nurses and midwives, underscores the shortage would be most prominent in urban areas where home health care and other forms of nursing are used by many people, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
With the minimum age of those born to the baby boomer generation to be 75 by the year 2025, social security spending by the government, as well as demand for medical practitioners, are expected to rise rapidly.
To secure skilled healthcare workers, the ministry is making an effort to improve working conditions in the field, where overwork is a common problem.
A study that the ministry conducted to find ways of alleviating the problem found that up to 2.02 million nursing staff would be required by 2025.
But it estimates that number will only be around 1.75 million to 1.82 million by that time, rising slightly from the 1.66 million recorded in 2016.
The study attributed the country-wide shortage of home nursing and nursing care workers to a high number of people quitting due to the heavy workload required by the job and other reasons.
Local governments need to "revise their health care plans and strive to secure skilled workers in line with the actual situation," an official of the ministry said.

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