130.000 jobs available in the Dutch healthcare sector

130.000 jobs available in the Dutch healthcare sector

The number of vacancies in the Dutch healthcare sector is increasing, and according to figures from the Employee Insurance Agency UWV, this year, around 130.000 job openings will need to be filled.

Dutch healthcare jobs difficult to fill

Despite the great number of jobs in the Netherlands on offer in the healthcare sector, they are proving difficult to fill. In mid-2016 to mid-2017, 51 percent of healthcare companies in the Netherlands struggled with hard-to-fill vacancies. At hospitals, homecare, nursing homes and the GGZ (Dutch Association of Mental Health and Addiction Care) this percentage was even higher, with 80 percent of these organisations finding it difficult to find staff. 

The UWV predicts a deficit of 100.000 healthcare employees, and especially nurses, for the next four years. This year, the nursing demand will rise by 1,5 percent, which is remarkable after years of job losses in this area. It is not just nurses who are in demand in the Netherlands, hearing care professionals, opticians, optometrists and dental hygienists are also being sought after.

The number of vacancies has also vastly increased in the area of childcare. In fact, in 2016 there were 200 childcare jobs on offer each month. In 2017, the number of open vacancies doubled to 400 per month.

Temporary department closure

According to Willem de Boer, from the Dutch Hospitals Association (NVZ), the staff shortage has lead to higher work pressure, operations having to be postponed and specialist departments having to close down temporarily.

The staff shortage is partly due to the ageing population in the Netherlands, which results in the need for more intensive and specialist care. The ageing population also affects those in the healthcare sector, as a quarter of the employees are 55 years old and above and will soon be eligible to take their pensions.

Dutch healthcare deficit solutions

The UWV has proposed a few long and short-term solutions for the deficit of personnel in the Dutch healthcare sector. One short-term proposal is to have non-care related tasks be taken over by service staff.

Another solution is to make use of staff more efficiently through scheduling and offering more contracted hours per person. Other solutions include bringing back healthcare professionals who were dismissed, training job seekers and migrants, and attracting employees from abroad.

In the long term, the UWV recommends that there be more recognition and appreciation for healthcare staff. They also advise that there be targeted internships in healthcare areas with staff deficits, quality education to prevent students from dropping out and more information for students at secondary schools to get them interested in the sector.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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Lee Lee Bodger 16:21 | 15 March 2018

What sort of options are available to practitioners from the uk, i am currently nursing but moving to the Netherlands in 2 months,i am looking at all options work wise

minasolanki 16:28 | 15 March 2018

Hi Lee, Thanks for your question. We advise getting in touch with a career advisor who can help you look at your options and also keeping an eye on our job board. You can find the links here: Hope this helps!

Carla morris 04:09 | 10 April 2018

Hi im a registered nurse from the UK. I live in Australia at the moment but plan on relocating over next few years. I plan on spending 3-4 weeks at a time there in the Netherlands but want to work in my profession. I have commenced a new contract here which enables me to work here whilst in Australia on a casual basis. Is this a option in the Netherlands also please ?

minasolanki 10:29 | 10 April 2018

Hi Carla, Thanks for your question. We advise getting in touch with a career advisor who can help you look at your options and / or talking to a lawyer specialised in labour law. You can find links to these pages here: Good luck and have a nice day! :)

Yoel Aquarius 00:57 | 12 August 2018

Hi. Is there any way for an experienced Registered Nurse from the United States to find a job in The Netherlands?

Kobus van der Merwe 18:33 | 30 June 2019

Good day. I am a Health Care Assistant / Caregiver with 12 years of ICU and Cardiac ICU experience. Would I be able to apply for work in a hospital. I would love to live in the Netherlands and learn about my heritage and culture. I live in Zuid Africa. Thank you

guimei 15:00 | 21 February 2020

I am a registered nurse from Singapore and I am now looking a nursing job in Nethelands . any options ? thanks !

minasolanki 15:05 | 21 February 2020

Hi guimei, take a look at this page: Hope this helps! :)

Kakande Juliet ... 12:02 | 8 March 2020

hi Mina am Julie from Uganda, I have a diploma in midwifery and have been working in a neonatal care unit. How can you help me to get a job please for any help my watsup6no+256772303084