ARCHIV - 27.06.2021, Berlin: Nicolai Savaskan, Leiter des Gesundheitsamts Neukölln, steht bei einer Impfstelle auf dem Gelände des Bezirksamts Neukölln an der Blaschkoallee. Der Amtsarzt will Bürgern auch weiterhin kostenlose Schnelltests anbieten. Foto: Christophe Gateau/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The Neukölln medical officer Nicolai Savaskan has been relieved of his duties, and he is not allowed to enter the health department he has been in charge of for the time being. The “B.Z.” reports first. Nobody could be reached in Neukölln’s district office.

Not only Savaskan, but also other medical officers in the city repeatedly had arguments with politicians during the pandemic. Most of the criticism, however, concerned corona measures by the Senate. In Neukölln, however, it was known that there had been violent differences of opinion between Savaskan and the city councilor for health, Mirjam Blumenthal (SPD), who was only elected in 2021.

According to information from the Tagesspiegel, the trigger for Savaskan’s “deactivation” was that the doctor had requested more staff for the district’s pandemic staff. In an internal email on July 29 to all health department workers, an employee confirmed, it was then announced that Savaskan had been relieved of his duties.

The public health officer has regularly commented publicly on corona issues, especially as a member of the Association of Physicians in the Public Health Service. Last week it was said in state politics that Blumenthal had instructed Savaskan not to make any public statements. The doctor did not respond to a request via SMS on Sunday evening.

A few days ago, the Tagesspiegel learned from an internal round of state secretaries on the Corona fall of 2022, which also dealt with the role of public health officers. The Secretary of State for Education Aziz Bozkurt (SPD) suggested in the round with a view to the measures to be explained to pay attention to “uniform communication of the authorities”. In previous corona waves, the “unauthorized communication” of individual medical officers in particular was “not helpful”.

In Senate circles, there was talk above all of Reinickendorf’s medical officer Patrick Larscheid, who had criticized the school and daycare closures during the pandemic as social-psychologically risky. At the beginning of the year, Larscheid resigned from the hygiene advisory board of the educational administration together with the head of the professional association of paediatricians. When asked, Larscheid said he was surprised that there was apparently still a feeling of insult in the Senate. However, he supports the obligation to wear masks, as demanded by the state secretaries. A Senate spokeswoman said only that they are working on getting Berlin safely through autumn and winter.

Each municipality, i.e. each of the twelve districts of Berlin, has a medical officer. They work independently, but are subject to supervision by the competent district office.