Staff increases and higher skills
speshelsesom, Specialist health service, general careHealth services , Health

Specialist health service, general care1999



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Staff increases and higher skills

From 1990 to 1999 the number of man-years at general hospitals increased from around 46 500 man-years to just over 57 600 man-years, i.e. a nearly 24 per cent increase. This corresponds to an average annual change of 2.4 per cent.

In comparison, the growth in the number of man-years from 1980 to 1989 was just over one per cent per year.

50 per cent rise in man-years of physicians

The number of man-years worked by university and college-trained health care employees increased the most in both the 1980s and 1990s. For most health professions, however, the number of man-years increased far more in the 1990s than in the 1980s. In the 1990s the number of man-years of physicians increased by about 50 per cent and for nurses including midwives it increased just over 42 per cent. The corresponding figures for the 1980s were nearly 24 per cent for physicians and just over 27 per cent for nurses.

Fewer auxiliary nurses

For auxiliary nurses the trend has been the reverse. The number of man-years worked by auxiliary nurses at hospitals declined in both the 1980s and 1990s, although the decline was the greatest in the 1990s, when it was about 21 per cent. The shortage of health professionals has not opened up jobs to health workers with less education. Moreover, greater specialization and a trend towards higher education have not contributed to greater use of auxiliaries in the hospitals. Man-years of administrative, operations and service staff increased in both the 1980s and 1990s, but the growth here was slower than for college-educated health professionals.

The number of man-years worked at somatic hospitals grew 3.4 per cent from 1998 to 1999, accounting for almost 1 900 more man-years. Broken down, the man-year increase was 264 for doctors and 962 for nurses including midwives. Among college-educated health professionals, occupational therapists saw the biggest percentile increase in man-years. On the other hand, the man-years of auxiliary nurses and paediatric nurses fell slightly, while the man-years of administrative, operations and service staff increased by about 4.2 per cent.

At the end of 1999 around 1 236 man-years were connected with somatic institutions outside the hospitals. This was just over 80 fewer man-years than the year before. The decline is mainly because institutions/departments have been included in somatic hospitals or been transferred to municipal nursing homes.