Health Ministry Forecasts an Increasing Demand for Nurses in Japan

With the worsening labor shortage, the Health Labor and Welfare Ministry of the country has warned local governments about the possibility of needing more nurses and health care practitioners over the next few years. Known to many, the Land of the Rising Sun is currently experiencing a shrinking population as a result of low birth rate and a decline in onward migration.


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All these factors, taken together, has led to a chronic labor crunch especially in fourteen identified sectors in the country such as but not limited to the nursing industry, food and service, construction, agriculture, among others. In order to address this alarming issue, the Japanese government has relaxed its immigration rules to attract more foreign workers in the country. Japan aspires to welcome more and more foreign nationals who are seeking for employment opportunities in the country.


According to a research conducted by the ministry, over two million nursing staff will be required in Japan by 2025 mostly because of the increasing medical needs of the senior citizens in the country. Nonetheless, the ministry also forecasts that there will be around 1.75 million to 1.82 million health practitioners by that time, a figure higher than the present number.


Despite these measures, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry of Japan warned that Japan could possibly face a shortage of up to two hundred seventy thousand medical practitioners, nurses and midwives both in private and public hospitals by the year 2025 considering the health needs and welfare of the aging population.


In order to give security to skilled health care workers, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry is preoccupied in improving the working conditions of these health staff especially in the field in which over work and low compensation are common concerns. The ministry also encouraged every local and prefectural government in Japan to “revise their health care plans and strive to secure skilled workers in line with the actual situation”.


Reference: Japan could face shortage of 270,000 nursing staff by 2025, ministry warns


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