Information about physician anaesthesiologist manpower in the countries of the European Union was collected from questionnaires sent to the delegates representing their respective countries on the European Board of Anaesthesiology.
In the countries of the European Union and Switzerland and Norway 40 259 specialist anaesthesiologists are recorded. The number of anaesthesiologists in relation to population varies between as little as 4.4 and 4.6 (Ireland and UK) and as many as 15.6 (Italy), with a mean of 10.8/100 000 inhabitants. There are 11 610 physicians recorded in training in anaesthesiology.
The ratio of trainees to specialists in the European Union countries was 28.8/100, varying from as low as 6.5 in France, to as high as 96.7 and 98/100 in Ireland and the UK respectively.
These figures indicate a wide difference in the numbers of specialists and trainees between the European countries studied. However, the overall mean figure is close to that reported in the USA (9.2/100 000).