Person wearing hospital blues and a stethoscope

About 1600 nurses left Portugal last year, 527 more than in 2022, with Switzerland being the main destination country, according to data from the Order of Nurses (OE), who warn of the “escape” of these professionals.

The Order of Nurses received, in 2023, a total of 1,689 declaration requests for emigration, a number that says it represents about 60% of the 2916 nurses enrolled this year.

“The escape of nurses abroad continues, with numbers increasing compared to last year,” the Order said in a statement.

As last year, Switzerland remains the country that receives the most Portuguese nurses, followed by Spain, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom.

Outside of Europe, the Order highlights that they are becoming more attractive to Portuguese professionals countries such as Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates, employing more and more Portuguese nurses.

“The data demonstrate the continuing trend of emigration of nurses, despite the chronic lack of these professionals in Portugal,” he points out, arguing that this increase in emigration demonstrates that Portugal “continues without being able to fix it”.

The EO concludes the document by calling for party electoral programs to include measures that value nurses and “transclude’ emigration.

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