In Germany, hiring immigrants to be health care assistants has been a topic of discussion for years. Switzerland is now doing so in earnest.
After the success of a pilot project in the city of St. Gallen, the experiment is to be expanded to the entire canton starting in September. The aim of its proponents: to reduce the nursing shortage and combat high unemployment rates among immigrants. In practice, though, there is often a lack of communication with elderly patients. Nursing associations have criticized the project sharply, saying they fear the project will lead to a loss of quality and low wages.