Nationwide, clinic managers, doctors and nurses fear significant restrictions in care due to the corona summer wave and the expected heat wave. According to Tagesspiegel information, up to ten percent of the nursing staff in individual clinics could not start work this week, mainly because of Sars-Cov-2 infections. This information from southern Germany was not confirmed.
The clinics face challenges not only due to the absence of illness due to corona, but also the usual shortage of skilled workers and the holiday season. “We have received reports from all federal states that individual wards and departments also have to be deregistered due to a lack of staff,” said the CEO of the German Hospital Society (DKG), Gerald Gaß, the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland”.
At times, emergency admissions would also be canceled at the rescue control centers. “This situation worries us greatly in view of the upcoming autumn.”
As a survey by the German Press Agency showed, operations in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia are already being postponed due to staff shortages. Meanwhile, the number of inpatient Covid 19 cases is increasing again, although not everywhere. There have been successively more corona patients in the intensive care units since mid-June.
Nationwide, more than 1,200 adults with a corona infection were treated in intensive care on Wednesday, most recently at the beginning of May. Some Covid 19 patients were transferred from Brandenburg (Havel) to other hospitals this week, but most clinics in the region can still guarantee full care.
“If we don’t get clear regulations for the fall now, we could experience a collapse in the hospitals, in the nursing facilities and in the doctor’s offices, which will shake our entire health care system,” said the health expert of the CSU in the Bundestag, Stephan Pilsinger, the daily mirror. He called on Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach to act.
The SPD politician should “not frighten people and only announce them, but finally act concretely”. The economy needs planning security and preparation time so that in the event of new, highly contagious virus variants, entire industries do not come to a standstill.
In view of the expected heat wave, Gass said: “If the record values that meteorologists are currently predicting for the next week actually occur, we will have to reckon with a high number of heat-related hospital cases.” In Berlin, hospitals and nursing homes want to arm themselves with conversions and heat protection plans. As reported, a new heat protection alliance made up of the Senate, the Medical Association and clinics presented the first sample plans for the healthcare system in June.
For years, hospitals have been looking for nursing staff in particular, but also laboratory assistants and technicians. The shortage of skilled workers is not only becoming more noticeable not only due to the increasing number of inpatient Covid 19 cases, but also because clinics are poaching the few available nursing staff from each other, said the chairman of the health committee in the Berlin House of Representatives, Christian Gräff.
“In the future we will have to think about closing smaller hospitals so that staff, expertise and equipment can be concentrated in the large, even better equipped maximum care facilities,” said the CDU politician. In addition, the focus must be on outpatient care. “Especially in Berlin, many patients who report to the emergency services are not emergencies,” said Gräff. “For these cases, practices and care centers make more sense.”
Minister Lauterbach appointed a commission of experts in May to make proposals for Germany’s future hospital landscape.