A recent study by the Univeristy of Tartu has found that the number of students enrolling in nurse training schools must double in the next three years to avoid a shortage.
Raul-Allan Kiivet, a professor of health care management at the university and one of the compilers of the study, told Eesti Päevaleht on Monday that nurses who work with GPs are particularly needed, as are those to who can alleviate the current high workloads at hospitals.
By 2016, education institutions should accept 600 new students annually, the study concluded. The Hospitals Association has concurred with the number. The study noted, however, that reaching that target is unlikely if more state funds are not found.
Currently, 300 new students are accepted each year, a number that is projected to increase to 420 by 2016 taking into account current financing models.
According to the study, Estonia currently has 12,205 nurses or midwives on its registry. However, only 8,743 of them are active and working in the country.