HomeJobsNot enough healthcare graduates, ministry launches study in bid to attract students

Not enough healthcare graduates, ministry launches study in bid to attract students

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In a season of European politics where Maltese candidates for Brussels are attempting to instrumentalise the growing labour influx of non-EU nationals, the Maltese government is now embarking on a search for young healthcare workers to plug shortages in the NHS.

Over 10,500 healthcare professionals are employed by the Maltese State, where a large cohort of Asian nursing staff is becoming increasingly evident following the COVID-19 pandemic.

But according to the health ministry, still not enough healthcare professionals are available to cater for Malta’s population of 500,000.

“The national workforce within some healthcare professions is not sufficient to meet the current and anticipated future demand for healthcare services,” the ministry for health said in a call for a study that can discover ways of attracting more students in Malta to the health disciplines and related courses and careers.

One of the objectives of the Maltese NHS Health Workforce Strategy (2022) is to improve integration of the healthcare and education sectors, by addressing the gaps between the supply and demand for future jobs and strengthen health careers and patient centred care.

The health ministry, working with both the EU and the WHO, now wants evidence-based research to identify factors that impact enrolment and the pursuit of these careers.

The study will explore youths’ attitudes and perceptions towards healthcare education programmes and careers related to healthcare, as well as identify the factors that encourage or discourage them from pursuing healthcare careers.

“The study’s findings can inform the development of policies and programs aimed at encouraging more youths to pursue healthcare careers and addressing any barriers or misconceptions that may exist.  Ultimately, it can contribute to better workforce planning in the healthcare sector, ensuring an adequate supply of skilled professionals to meet the healthcare needs of the population in Malta,” the ministry said in a call for tenders.

The study, which will include qualitative interviews as well as surveys of Malta’s young population, will determine ways to attract more students to the health disciplines, particularly in areas where shortages are being experienced.

Other observations will be gleaned from how age, gender, socioeconomic background, and cultural factors influence the choice of a healthcare career among youths; the impact of educational institutions and career guidance practitioners; and how youths perceive the healthcare industry, its challenges, opportunities, and the role it plays in society.

It will also analyse which are the most significant factors demotivating youths from choosing healthcare careers, how to recruit and retain those who would be attracting to such careers, in a bid to forecast future workforce needs and design relevant training programmes.

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