In care facilities in Germany, a mandatory tariff payment is now in effect - patient representatives, providers and unions warn of cost increases for those in need of care and call for countermeasures by politicians.
Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) defended the tariff loyalty regulation for the facilities, which also works. "The wages of the nursing staff in the homes are increasing significantly, and that is intentional. Finally, their important work is better paid," he said.
Nursing facilities and nursing services have had to pay according to collective agreements or similar since Thursday in order to be able to settle accounts with the nursing care funds. The old black-red federal government had initiated the legal requirement - also in order to keep and attract urgently needed nurses in the profession. In the meantime, around 90 percent of all facilities have given corresponding obligatory feedback on tariff compliance, as the Federal Association of General Local Health Insurance Funds (AOK) reported in response to a dpa request.
DGB: Collective bargaining loyalty good news - but at the expense of the wrong ones
For the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB), board member Anja Piel told the German Press Agency that adherence to collective bargaining agreements is good news for care workers who have been waiting for fair wages for far too long. "But it's a scandal to charge those in need of care and their families with the costs." You need relief. "Price increases of several hundred euros per month plus rising energy and food costs in nursing homes mean existential hardship for many people."
Patient Protection Foundation complains about "cost tsunami"
The German Foundation for Patient Protection complained that the tariff loyalty law works, but triggers a "cost tsunami" among those in need of care. Because it is not society that rewards this service better, but it is only those in need of care, said board member Eugen Brysch of the dpa. "With inflation and skyrocketing energy prices, a big wave is brewing." That could not stop new subsidies for care costs depending on the length of stay.
Part of the new care regulations were relief for residents. Since the beginning of the year, in addition to the payments from the long-term care insurance fund, you have received a surcharge that increases with the length of your stay in the home. However, the shares to be paid have recently continued to rise and were only partially cushioned by this, as an evaluation by the Association of Substitute Health Insurance Funds showed. The background to this is that long-term care insurance - unlike health insurance - only bears part of the costs for pure care. For residents of the home, there are additional costs for accommodation, meals and investments in the facilities.
The President of the German Nursing Council, Christine Vogler, also warned that the additional costs should not be passed on to those in need of care. In the "Bild" newspaper, she called for a "cap on care costs that is based on reasonable living and food costs - and on the pensions of nursing home residents." In her view, care must be financed through taxes in the future.
The nursing employers' association said that geriatric care had to be paid well so that young people could also choose the profession. President Thomas Greiner warned that the long-term care insurance funds would have to bear the additional costs of the wage increases. "There must be no undignified haggling here, because the care companies cannot bear to advance the money right now."