Although healthcare staff in our neighbouring countries are dropping out rapidly, Luxembourg's Ministry of Health says the trend has not been replicated in the Grand Duchy.

Two gruelling years into a pandemic, healthcare staff still appear to be holding on in Luxembourg, according to figures provided by the Ministry of Health.

In a recent parliamentary question, DP MPs Gusty Graas and Gilles Baum expressed concern over exhaustion and resignations tendered by medical staff in the Grand Duchy.

In Germany, more than 9,000 nurses resigned in the first two months of the Covid crisis alone. Currently, a third of around 1.8 million nurses are considering leaving their jobs in the near future, while almost 30% have dropped out prematurely, according to Graas and Baum.

In Belgium the current absence rate is estimated to be 30%, a 10-15% increase on last year.


En 2020, 2,1% du personnel soignant du Luxembourg a démissionné. Un chiffre stable par rapport à l'année précédente. / © Shutterstock

Reassuring figures

In Luxembourg, Minister of Health Paulette Lenert reported reassuring figures : "In 2019, the percentage of resignations among hospital nursing staff was 5.3%. This rate has hardly changed in 2020 (5.6 %), nor in 2021 (5.1%)."

In addition:

  • The share of nursing staff who have taken early retirement remains low (2019: 0.6%, 2020: 0.8%)
  • Caregivers who have resigned from the hospital sector are stable (2019: 2.1%, 2020: 2.1%)

Absences are slightly above average

In 2020, healthcare staff employed in Luxembourg hospitals posted an overall absence rate (including absences due to illness, family reasons, accidents, maternity and exemptions for pregnant women) of 8.5%, compared to 6.9% the previous year.

In comparison, the overall absence rate for all employees in the private sector stood at 7.0% in 2020, compared to 5.0% in 2019.

In total, there were 4,347 people working as caregivers in Luxembourg hospitals in the first half of 2021, compared to 4,486 in 2020 and 4,482 in 2019.

The minister concluded that hospital departments have the means to adapt to these absences, using part-time work and resources from the health reserve.

RTL 5Minutes witness appeal

Our colleagues at RTL 5Minutes are looking for witness accounts from staff in the healthcare sector in Luxembourg and their experiences during the Covid crisis. If you would like to share your experiences, get in touch at the following email address: