Survey highlights staff shortages in Swiss nursing homes

There are more than 100,300 people living in old peoples and nursing homes in Switzerland according to 2019 figures by the statistics office. © Keystone/Gaetan Bally

Nursing homes in Switzerland increasingly struggle to recruit enough skilled personnel and health workers say they have reached their limits in terms of the provision of quality healthcare.

This content was published on May 5, 2021 minutes

A new survey of healthcare staff at 118 nursing homes across the country found that the issue of finding suitable personnel is their biggest challenge.

Fewer than half of the 4,400 respondents said their care units were fully staffed, according to a research projectExternal link published by the University of Basel on Wednesday. This compares with 58% in a 2013 poll.

Respondents said more paperwork and administrative tasks had reduced time available for nursing activities.

This situation results in growing frustration among the staff and leads to employees handing in their notice, according to Marlies Petrig, a spokeswoman for a regional health care centre in Bassersdorf outside Zurich.


Petrig said the Covid-19 pandemic was making things worse as care personnel had to take on extra tasks and follow special safety precautions.

She added that Covid quarantine measures were resulting in more staff shortages and homes coming under increasing financial pressure as they struggled to find new patients.

The survey is based on data collected from nursing staff and assistants in the German and French language regions of the country between September 2018 and October 2019.

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