September 1st is a happy day for many people who work in care, but for those in need of care and their families it is more associated with worry and uncertainty. As in all federal states, nursing staff in Berlin can look forward to wage increases, some of which are considerable.
This applies above all to those who work in inpatient or outpatient facilities who have not previously paid according to the tariff. According to the “Act on the Further Development of Health Care” they must now be remunerated based on an average tariff.
However, the wage adjustments also increase the costs and prices, which is why many people in need of care and relatives have received corresponding letters from their home and care service managers in the past few weeks, in which they were informed about higher personal contributions.
In view of the innovations in care, there is therefore clear criticism of Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) in Berlin. While the red-green-red coalition is talking about “poor preparation for nursing homes and relatives”, as an SPD man put it, the opposition CDU is becoming clearer.
“It is true that the nursing staff is now better paid,” said the chairman of the health committee in the Berlin House of Representatives, Christian Gräff (CDU). “However, dumping this solely on the backs of those in need of care and their families is antisocial – especially at a time when the costs for all citizens are increasing massively. Federal Minister of Health Lauterbach should have presented a financing concept months ago.”
As early as May, Gräff had asked about the consequences of the regulations that will apply from September 1st. At that time, neither the responsible AOK nor the Senate knew how many of the 282 homes, 115 day and 16 short-term care facilities and 691 outpatient services in Berlin were already paying wages. That would have been important in order to be able to estimate how much the costs for the needy and their relatives are now increasing.
For Jenny Pieper-Kempf, the public relations officer of the Diakonie-Pflege Verbund Berlin, the changes must not lead to “playing off social benefits”. If the costs exceed the financial possibilities of those in need of care, there is advice on how to finance the services through the social welfare office in the future.
But that’s exactly a problem, says Nare Yeşilyurt, head of the outpatient care service Deta-Med. “In our experience, more than half of those affected reject this. They do not want to receive social assistance, preferring to do without care services. Instead of three, two missions per day will have to suffice. The benefits that are lost are then borne by family members and they are physically and financially overburdened.”
Inpatient facilities, on the other hand, fear that they will have to pay in advance because the social welfare offices cannot process the many applications so quickly. “When energy costs rise, things get really cramped,” says a home manager.