The Perceived Impacts of Care Mobility on Sending Countries and Institutional Responses: Healthcare, Long-term Care and Education in Romania and Slovakia
January 11, 2019
Wealthier Western European countries employ care workers from Eastern European countries to satisfy the increasing need for care of their ageing populations. This paper examines the perceived impacts of care work mobility and institutional responses in Romania and Slovakia in three particular areas: healthcare, long-term care and education. Romania and Slovakia, large suppliers to Western European countries of carers for the elderly, are the two most common countries of origin among 24-hour personal carers in Austria. To better understand the effects of care mobility on these two sending countries, the case of Austria, as a receiving country for both Romanians and Slovaks, was considered.
The results show that various stakeholders perceive care mobility to affect care-related areas in sending countries in different ways, ranging from labour force shortages, to quality of service provision, to the wellbeing of migrant family members. Looking at perceived impacts is important, because perceptions of the impacts of labour migration have a great influence on public debates and policies intended to address those impacts.
Public policies in both Romania and Slovakia have generally not responded directly to the impacts of care mobility upon education, health, and long-term care. The authors argue that there is a particular need for responses addressing the abusive practices of actors (including placement agencies) involved in the transnational job market for carers.