Zahlreiche Lichter brennen im Bettenhaus der Charité. Seit Wochen steigt die Zahl der Patienten, die in Berlin wegen Covid-19 behandelt werden. Und mit einer weiteren Zuspitzung wird gerechnet. Die Charité zieht Konsequenzen. Sie reduziert ab sofort ihren Betrieb auf ein "reines Notfallprogramm". +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Short of time in the laboratories, sluggish digitization and rising material prices – the Charité is under increasing pressure. The Tagesspiegel has the 40-page evaluation of an employee survey in which almost 8,500 employees took part. According to this, only 44 percent of those surveyed recommend the Charité as an employer – and young doctors in particular do so even less frequently.

Less than 15 percent of physicians under the age of 40 would recommend the state-owned university clinic as a good place to work. According to the internal evaluation, many employees suffered from “insufficient digitization” and “insufficient time for research and teaching”.

A Charité spokesman said that the 44 percent of those surveyed recommended the Charité “unreservedly” and that overall approval was greater. In addition, further family-friendly career models are being developed and digitization and de-bureaucratization are being promoted.

The Marburger Bund is currently conducting collective bargaining for the 2,700 Charité doctors. In addition to a 6.9 percent increase in salary, the doctors’ union is demanding fewer on-call services and more reliable rosters. In the medium term, this could result in the university clinic having to hire more doctors. Just last summer, the Charité nurses organized in Verdi went on strike for more staff per station. In the meantime, the negotiated relief collective agreement applies.

Almost 21,000 people work at the Charité, including the subsidiary CFM. With 3,000 beds in Steglitz, Wedding and Mitte and an annual turnover of 2.3 billion euros, the Charité is the largest university hospital in Europe. Heyo Kroemer heads the six-member board of directors, and Ulrike Gote (Greens), Senator for Health and Science, heads the supervisory board.

As Berlin’s state-owned university hospital, the Charité should play the central role in the expansion of Berlin into the “Health City 2030”. In addition, billions of euros are planned for modernization, each campus should set its own priorities. At the Mitte location, for example, the planners rely on translation: This refers to the steps with which research results are applied in patient care. While 65 percent of employees in the above survey stated that they were “dedicated to the success of the 2030 strategy”, only 25 percent were able to say what this “means specifically” for their work.

The heart center of the Charité on the Virchow campus in Wedding plays a special role in the planned medical metropolis. The center, which has been independent for decades and is supported by a foundation, was integrated into the clinic and is now to be modernized at a cost of almost 400 million euros. However, the plans are based on the time when neither the corona crisis nor the current inflation were foreseeable.

The FDP in the House of Representatives is therefore calling for all possibilities to be examined so that private players in the healthcare industry, investors and patrons can be involved in the financing and operation of the heart center. In certain cases, private investments are possible, the Charité spokesman said, and they are discussing this with the Senate.

In the red-green-red coalition, on the other hand, it should be discussed that the Charité does not have a professorship for gynecological endocrinology and reproductive medicine. This emerges from a response from Science State Secretary Armaghan Naghipour to a question from MP Bahar Haghanipour (both Greens), which was available to the Tagesspiegel in advance.

Due to a lack of expertise, Charité contributions to the debate on reproductive laws, abortions and preimplantation diagnostics were missing, said Haghanipour, spokeswoman for equality policy for the Greens: “The Charité fails to recognize the central role of research and training in miscarriages and abortions.” It is shocking that Berlin’s university medicine “no makes a qualified contribution to the public education of this basic health care for women”.

The Charité leadership disagrees. In Berlin there are highly specialized practices for gynecological endocrinology and reproductive medicine, in which former Charité specialists also work, some of whom still teach in the clinic. “Since the outpatient care in the department mentioned is excellent in Berlin,” said the Charité spokesman, “the establishment of a professorship only makes sense if it also closes a gap in care that currently does not exist.”