Expatica news

Minority healthcare workers needed

22 March 2007

BRUSSELS – A growing number of old-age home residents will be of ethnic minority background in the coming years. In order to prepare the sector for this, Flemish Welfare Minister Inge Vervotte wants nursing homes to hire more ethnic minority staff by 2010.

Flanders has 40,993 non-native Belgians over the age of 60. The Dutch and Italians are the largest group, followed by 2,800 Moroccans and 2,600 Turks. This is just undoubtedly just the tip of the iceberg, because statistically the number of ethnic minority elderly is always underestimated.

The number of over-60s of immigrant background has in fact doubled over the past ten years. A very small percentage of them have entered nursing homes so far, but that is set to change dramatically in the coming ten years.

Vervotte (Flemish Christian democrat CD&V) commissioned a study into the situation. She doesn’t like the idea of a nursing home exclusively for people of ethnic background, like the one in Amsterdam.

She does, however, want the sector to start hiring more minority staff, who are familiar with the language and culture of the many residents expected in the coming years.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news