A considerable increase in the number of elderlies towards 2040 is therefore one of the most important factors behind the expected growth in demand for these groups. The impact of other explanatory factors is more uncertain. These include to what degree health conditions for a given age are improving when life expectancy increases, the share of unpaid care at home, and to what degree the number of health workers per user will continue to increase.

Even when simultaneously assuming age-specific improvements in health in accordance with growth in life-expectancy, a constant share of unpaid home care and no increase in standards, there will be a significant growth in demand for most groups of health personnel. With more realistic assumptions, growth in demand will be stronger. For several groups with tertiary education, observed trends that shift demand in favour of these groups are expected to continue.

However, for many groups of health personnel, we expect a significant growth in the supply of labour. This is the case for social educators, dental nurses, radiographers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and psychologists who have experienced a strong growth in educational capacity over the last decades. The number of persons entering the labour market from these groups is therefore much higher than the number retiring. For physicians, nurses, and auxiliary nurses immigrated persons account for an increasing share of new healthcare workers. With reasonable assumptions on the demand side and a continuation of present educational patterns and immigration, future labour markets for physicians, physiotherapists, health nurses and radiographs are projected to be in balance, while supply may exceed demand for psychologists, dentists, and dental nurses.

Despite having had knowledge about the coming ageing of the population for many years, too few nurses are educated. An already observed lack of nurses is expected to be strengthened in the years ahead. The situation is worsened by an increasing lack of auxiliary nurses, social educators, and occupational therapists. In addition, we might have a situation with excess demand for medical laboratory therapists, midwifes, and medical and dental secretaries. For several groups of healthcare workers even a significant growth in education will not be enough to prevent insufficient supply. Effects from other supply side factors are more uncertain and may expected to be of minor importance.