Data released by Eurostat on Tuesday in the framework of International Nurses Day, celebrated globally every May 12 on Florence Nightingale’s birthday, reveals that Cyprus has one of the lowest shares of nurses and midwives among EU countries in relation to its total workforce.
According to Eurostat’s report, the number of nurses and midwives in Europe has generally risen in recent years, with 4 million nurses recorded in 2011 compared to nearly 4 and a half million in 2019.
The share of nurses and midwives in the total workforce was 2.2% in the EU in 2019. Among the EU Member States, Germany stood out with a share of 3.4%, followed by Finland (3.0%), Belgium (2.9%) and Ireland (2.8%).
In contrast, 11 out of 27 EU Member States recorded shares of nurses and midwives of 1.5% or less in the total employment in the country.
The lowest share was 1.1%, recorded in Bulgaria, closely followed by Latvia and Luxembourg (both 1.2%), Estonia, Cyprus and Hungary (all 1.3%), Greece and Poland (both 1.4%) as well as Spain, Portugal and Romania (all 1.5%).
In absolute numbers, Germany recorded close to 1,458,000 nurses and midwives in 2019 which corresponds to 33% of all nurses and midwives in the EU. France with around 656,000 nurses and midwives (15% of EU’s nurses and midwives) and Italy with around 411,000 (9%) also recorded high numbers.
In Cyprus, there were 5,382 nurses and midwives in 2019 compared to 4,039 back in 2011.
On the occasion of International Nurses Day, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou took to social media to acknowledge the nursing staff’s crucial contribution to tackling the pandemic.
“This year’s celebration coincides with our nurses and midwives giving a titanic fight in the front line against the pandemic along with the rest of the medical and paramedical staff.
We recognize and honour their contribution to ensuring the entire population’s right to health.
“From the bottom of our hearts, a big thank you and congratulations for their invaluable contribution because we know very well that without them we will not get through this,” the Minister wrote.
— Constantinos Ioannou (@K_Ioannou) May 12, 2020
Pictured: A nurse, wearing a protective face mask, is reflected as she takes a break at an intensive care unit for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients at the Clinique de l’Orangerie private hospital in Strasbourg, France April 17, 2020. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann