• Physicians licensed to practice, total number (Line chart)
Data set notes
European database on human and technical resources for health

Indicators: 250
Updated: 23 September 2016
Downloads: 6690

HlthRes-DB provides a wide range of statistics on human and technical resources for health and offers data on non-monetary health care resources collected through the joint work of the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and WHO/Europe. It contains nearly 200 indicators on human and technical resources for health.

Human resources indicators: Indicators include the number and density of a wide range of health personnel (such as physicians, nurses, midwives, dentists, pharmacists and health care assistants), according to three different concepts (those practising, professionally active and licensed to practice). Information on employment in hospitals and numbers of medical and other graduates is also available.

Technical resources data: Data include the number and density of hospitals and hospital beds, stratified by ownership of facility (public, non-profit-making private and for-profit private), in addition to the number of beds for long-term care.

HlthRes-DB also contains indicators on the availability of the following medical equipment: computed tomography (CT) scanners, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) units, positron emission tomography (PET) scanners, gamma cameras, digital subtraction angiography units, mammographs, radiation therapy equipment and lithotriptors.

Coverage: HlthRes-DB contains data from the 53 Member States in the WHO European Region. To be updated yearly, usually in late summer, it is currently available in English and Russian.

More information: http://www.euro.who.int/en/data-and-evidence/databases/european-database-on-human-and-technical-resources-for-health-hlthres-db
Indicator notes
Physicians licensed to practice, total number
Indicator code: lic.phys

Physicians licensed to practice include practising and other (non-practising) physicians who are registered and entitled to practice as health care professionals.
- Physicians who provide services directly to patients
- Physicians for whom their medical education is a prerequisite for the execution of the job
- Physicians for whom their medical education is NOT a prerequisite for the execution of the job
- Physicians licensed to practice but who due to various reasons are not economically active (e.g. unemployed or retired)
- Physicians working abroad
- Dentists and stomatologists/dental surgeons
Note: The number should be at the end of the calendar year.
Country notes
Data not available.
Data are not available.
Note: From 2002 the licensing system of individuals (i.e. health workers) was put on hold. Physician is authorized to practice only having a diploma of graduation from residency on relevant specialty which gives the right for practising. Physician is not authorized to practice without a diploma. In accordance with the law of the Government of the Republic of Armenia “Of licensing of medical facilities” practising health workers (physicians and nurses) have to take an advanced professional training during their activity every 3-5 years.
Data not available.
Data not available.
Note: Data not available. Comment: The law of the Republic of Belarus "On Health" on June 18, 1993 provided for the concept of "eligibility for the medical (pharmaceutical) workers" those who received medical (pharmaceutical) education, and the "eligibility specialist doctor (specialist pharmacist ) "those who received higher medical (pharmaceutical) education, subject to passing the internship and passing a qualifying examination. Procedure for obtaining such rights is defined by the Act and other legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus. However this is not recorded in the Republic of Belarus.
Source of data: SPF Sante publique, securite de la chaine alimentaire et de l'environnement, DG2 Soins de Sante primaires et gestion de Crises - FOD Volksgezondheid, Veiligheid van de Voedselketen en Leefmilieu DG2 Basisgezondheidszorg en Crisisbeheer. Cellule Planification des professionnels de sante - Cel planning Gezondheidsberoepen.
- Since 2005: Base de donnees federale des professionnels de soins de sante - Federale databank van de beoefenaars van de gezondheidszorgberoepen. Further information: www.health.fgov.be.
- Before 2005: Administrative database.
Reference period: 31st December.
Coverage: Complete.
- Since 2005, stomatologists are excluded.
Break in time series: Change in source since 2005: Base de donnees federale des professionnels de soins de sante–Federale databank van de beoefenaars van de gezondheidszorgberoepen.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Source: Public Health Institute of FB&H - Annual report organisation structure of health personnel Public Health Institute of Republica Srpska - Annual report organisation structure of health personnel.
Data not available.
Data not available.
Data not available.
Data not available.
Source of data: Statens Serum Institut, Labour Register for Health Personnel.
Reference period: 31st December.
- Physicians who have a license to practice and whose status in the Central Personnel Register is active or, if abroad, below the age of 70.
- Figures comprise only physicians who are practising their profession, including physicians receiving postgraduate education and physicians employed in firms (very few) and public bodies.
- Physicians working as practitioners and physicians employed in research, the pharmaceutical industry, and private hospitals and clinics are also included.
- Dentists are not included.
Break in time series: 1992. Change in the data collection.
Source of data: Registry of Health Care Professionals, Health Care Board.
Reference period: January of the following year.
- The number of licensed physicians presents overall potential, not persons by the last obtained specialty. For years 2002-2004 deviation in coverage: partial data only. According to the new Health Services Organisation Act all physicians had to be re-registered by the beginning of 2005. The numbers for 2002-2004 reflect the registration status, not the actual number of persons entitled to practice.
Source of data: VALVIRA. National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health. Register on Qualified Health Care Personnel, number of persons aged less than 64 years old with qualification on 31st December.
Reference period: 31st December.

Break in series 2006 due to statistical change.
Data not available.
Data are not available
Note: According to the current legislation all practicing health professionals must be licensed. Health statistics have no data on licensing.
Source of data: German Medical Association, Medical practitioner statistics; http://www.gbe-bund.de or http://www.baek.de.
Reference period: 31st December.
- The number of registered physicians includes all practising and non-practising physicians licensed to practice (head-count data).
- Included are practising physicians, professionally active physicians, physicians working abroad, unemployed and retired physicians.
- The number of registered physicians excludes students who have not yet graduated, dentists and stomatologists.
Data not available.
Source of data:
- Up to 1999: Ministry of Health.
- In 2000 and 2001: Data are estimates from the National Institute for Strategic Health Research (ESKI) based on the operational registration of the Hungarian Medical Association.
- Between 2002 and 2006: Operational registration of the Hungarian Medical Association.
- From 2007: Office of Health Care Authorisation and Administrative Procedures.
Reference period: 31st December.
Break in time series: 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008.
- In 2005, the Hungarian Medical Association (MOK) performed data cleaning in the database to identify more precisely physicians licensed to practice.
- From 2007, the Office of Health Authorisation and Administrative Procedures (EEKH) – unlike in the previous years – provided data not on the basis of last acquired specialisation, but according to the dominant specialisation practiced during medical work.
- In 2008, the Office of Health Care Authorisation and Administrative Procedures significantly revised the data in the registry by calling for refinement, according to the 1997. CLIV. Act.
Source of data:
- 2003 and onwards: The Directorate of Health, The Register of Physicians.
- Until 2002: The Directorate of Health. Data from inpatient care institutions, health centres and The State Social Security Institute.
Reference period: 31st December.
- All physicians in the Register of Physicians that have a license to practice, regardless of age, status of employment or residence, are included. Foreigners that have received a license in Iceland but do not have a residence in Iceland are also included. Some of these may have passed away.
Source of data: Medical Council of Ireland.
Reference period: Since 2006, figures have referred to 31st December.
- Figures refer to all persons (including physicians working abroad) who have entered and maintained their name as fully registered doctors in the Register of Medical Practitioners, regardless of the area in which they are engaged or whether or not they are practising medicine. Physicians licensed refer to those registered by the Medical Council of Ireland. Registration is a pre-requisite for practice in Ireland.
Break in time series:
- Up to 2004, data refer to all persons with addresses in the Republic of Ireland (ie excludes physicians working abroad) who have entered and maintained their name as fully registered doctors in the Register of Medical Practitioners, regardless of the area in which they are engaged or whether or not they are practising medicine. From 2005 those with overseas addresses are also included.
- Break also occurs in 1992. Figures prior to 1992 only include persons under 65 years old. Since 1992, figures have included persons of all ages.
Source of data: The data are based on the Physicians License Registry maintained by the Medical Professions Division and the Health Information Division in the Ministry of Health, for which the demographic information and date of death are periodically updated from the Population Registry at the Ministry of Interior.
Reference period: End of the year.
- Data are for all licensed physicians (including residents). The data include only physicians with valid licenses at the end of each reference year.
- Includes physicians staying abroad. In 2008, 11.3% of the physicians licensed to practice (recorded in the Physicians License Registry) were not resident in Israel for more than 12 months.
- At the beginning of the 1990s, there was a large immigration wave from the Former USSR countries to Israel which included a large number of physicians who received a license to work in Israel.
Note: The statistical data for Israel are supplied by and under the responsibility of the relevant Israeli authorities. The use of such data by the OECD is without prejudice to the status of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank under the terms of international law.
Source of data: ISTAT provides data produced by ENPAM (National Insurance Institute of physicians and dentists). www.enpam.it.
Reference period: 31st December.
Break in time series: Physicians licensed to practice included dentists until 2004. Since 2005, dentists have been excluded.
Data not available.
Source of data:
- Since 2005: Health Inspectorate of Latvia; Medical Persons' Register.
- 2004 and earlier: Health Statistics and Medical Technologies State Agency; Statistical Report No.17 "Report About Medical Staff".
Reference period: 31 December. Break in series: 2005: Change in data source.
Source of data: Up to 2006: State Health Care Accreditation Agency under the Ministry of Health, Register of licenses. Since 2011: Health Information Centre of Institute of Hygiene, data is calculated from Compulsory Health Insurance Fund information system (subsystem METAS)
Reference period: 31st December.
Coverage: The number of physicians licensed to practice includes all physicians having valid license at the end of the year. In 2001-2003 the number of physicians licensed to practice was lower than the number of professionally active physicians as the license was not needed for not practising physicians, e g. working in health administration, public health (hygiene physicians and epidemiologists), education, research.
Break in time series:
- 2011: Data source change.
Source of data: Direction de la Sante - Service des statistiques. Register of doctors and health professionals.
Reference period: 31st December.
- Includes physicians working in administration and research.
- Includes stomatologists/dental surgeons.
Source of data: Registers of the Medical Council. Compilation for 2009 carried out at the Directorate for Health Information and Research from physicians “warranted” to practice Medicine and Surgery.
Reference period: 31st December.
Coverage: Physicians licensed to practices; figure for 2004 includes 82 foreign physicians on "contract" work, for 2006 includes 1308 physicians with a Malta address, 203 physicians living abroad, and 53 physicians working on contract - Source: Medical Council - Malta. Figure for 2007 represents the number of Physicians on the new "EU List" Register of the Medical Council, Malta. These Physicians had paid their "retention fee" to be included in the Register at end 2007. Figures for 2009 refer to physicians who were “warranted” to practice Medicine and Surgery. The Registers of the Medical Council are being constantly revised and they will show only those physicians who have paid their retention fees to Medical Council. These physicians are being called “registered Physicians” by Medical Council. Thus the figure that will be issued by Medical Council for registered physicians on the Registers of the Medical Council at end 2009 will be lower than the figure of 1541 licensed to practice being submitted. Break in series: 2007, 2009, 2011. Data on physicians from 2011 onwards had been updated by the Medical Council and more accurate figures have been provided.
Note: The data are not available.
Source of data: The BIG register (register installed by the Individual Health Care Professions Act), database as reveived by Statistics Netherlands.
- The figures refer to physicians ‘entitled to practice’: all authorised physicians entered in the register (of physicians) of the Chief Medical Officer of Public Health. The number of licensed physicians who are actively practising whether in private practice or as an employee in a health-care institution, is not known. The figures include an unknown number of physicians working in administration, research and industry. In December 2000, 6.6% of all registered physicians were over 69 years old.
- Head count. Includes non-practising physicians and retired professionals. Excludes professionals working abroad. Partly includes professionals who are foreigners – data do not include a number of physicians actually living abroad near the border in Belgium or Germany and working in the Netherlands.
North Macedonia
Data not available.
Source of data: Statistics Norway. Statistics on health-care personnel. Administrative registers. See www.ssb.no/hesospers_en/.
Reference period: 3rd week of November.
Source of data: Polish Chamber of Physicians, Register of licensed physicians.
Reference period: 31st December.
Source of data: Statistics Portugal and the Portuguese Medical Association. Series available at www.ine.pt [Medicos (N.?) por Local de residencia; Anual].
Reference period: 31st December.
- Head count data.
- Includes all physicians registered in the Portuguese Medical Association at the time of data collection, practising or not practising medicine.
- Includes non-practising physicians, retired professionals, professionals working abroad (if their declared residence is in Portugal), nationals and foreigners practicing in Portugal.
- Includes qualified physicians practising in hospitals and official clinics.
- Includes physicians working in private ambulatory health establishments, including private cabinets.
- Includes all physicians registered in the Portuguese Medical Association on 31st December of the reference year (non-specialised physicians and specialised physicians).
- The specialties Stomatology and Maxillo-facial surgery are not included here.
- Physicians with a declared residence abroad are also not included.
Republic of Moldova
Data not available.
Source of data: College of Physicians from Romania.
Reference period: data as of 31st December.
Coverage: According to national legislation (Law No. 95/2006 on the reform in health care), resident physicians haven’t a full right to practice in Romania. They are employed as physicians of assisted practice and are not included in the total number of physicians licensed to practice. According to the same law in the total number of physicians are included, also, physicians who are citizens of an EU Member State, EEA or Swiss Confederation, by assimilation, physicians who are family members of a citizen of an EU member state, EEA or Swisss Confederation and beneficiaries of the long-term resident status granted by an EU Member State, EEA or Swiss Confederation. Foreign trained physicians who provide medical services temporary or occasionally in Romania are not included.
Russian Federation
Data are not available.
San Marino
Data not available.
Source of data: Serbian Medical Chamber. Data as of December 31. http://www.lks.org.rs/.
Coverage: Data for Kosovo-Metohija province are not included in the coverage of data for the Republic of Serbia.
Data not available.
Data not available.
Source of data: National Statistics Institute (INE) from Register of Physicians Council (several issues). http://www.ine.es/jaxi/menu.do?type=pcaxis&path=/t15/p416&file=inebase&L=0.
Reference period: Data as at 31st December.
- The annual information is taken from the Register of the Physicians Council. Stomatologists and Odontologists are not included.
Source of data: National Board of Health and Welfare. National Planning Support (NPS) register.
Reference period: 1st November.
- Non-retired personnel.
- 100 per cent coverage.
Data not available.
Data not available.
Data not available.
Data not available.
The data are not available.
United Kingdom
Source of data: General Medical Council (GMC).
- Data from 1996 onwards at UK level.
- Prior to 1996, data are unreliable due to system migrations, so they have not been included.
- 1996 to 2008 data refer to registered doctors prior to licencing being introduced. These doctors were still entitled to practice though.
- 2009 data onwards refer to licenced doctors.
- "Physicians licensed to practice" reports all registered doctors from 1996 -2008, as of the 31st December in each year.
- Licencing was introduced in 2009, so the 2009-2014 numbers are limited to doctors that hold a licence, rather than the overall figure registered. Data are provided from 1996 onwards as data before that are unreliable due to system migrations.
Break in time series: 2009.
Source of data: Institute of Health and Medical Statistics, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan, reporting form 15-SSV “Report on Health personnel by categories”.
Reference period: 31 December.
Coverage: data include personnel working within the system of the Ministry of Health only.