School health in Europe: A review of workforce expenditure across five countries

Simon Van Der Pol*, Maarten J. Postma, Danielle E.M.C. Jansen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Most European countries have implemented a form of school health services (SHS) to provide young children and adolescents with various types of healthcare. No estimations on SHS expenditure for European countries have been published until now. We estimated SHS workforce expenditure in Europe, expected to serve as the main driver of school healthcare costs. Methods: Using two networks of experts on healthcare provision for children we contacted various country representatives to provide data on the number of professionals working in SHS and salaries. These data were used, together with publicly available data, to estimate annual SHS workforce expenditure on the national level. Results: We received sufficient data for five European countries, and estimated the SHS workforce expenditure. Nurses were the most widely reported professionals working in this field, followed by doctors and psychologists. Our SHS expenditure estimations ranged from 43,000 for Estonia to 195,300 in Norway (per 1000 pupils). For Norway, Estonia, Finland and Iceland, school nurses were the main drivers of SHS expenditure, mainly due to their large numbers, while in Austria, school doctors played the largest role in SHS expenditure. Conclusions: We estimated the spending on SHS workforce for five European countries, which comprises relatively minor parts of total healthcare spending (0.16 to 0.69%). Many questions regarding SHS spending in Europe remain, due to a general lack of data on national levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number206
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2020

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