High staff shortages, many patients with respiratory diseases and supply bottlenecks for medicines are currently causing problems for the clinics. "We should now be down nine to ten percent in terms of staff, which means that almost every tenth employee is sick," said the CEO of the German Hospital Society (DKG), Gerald Gass, the German Press Agency. That is 30 to 40 percent more failures than usual at this time of year.
Many employees are affected by the infectious diseases, which also cause high patient numbers. In addition to Corona, the flu and RS viruses in children are currently causing many diseases across the country.
The staff situation is thin anyway, said Gass. "As a result, beds are currently blocked in a number of hospitals or entire wards have to be logged off. We are not allowed to treat if we fall below staffing limits." The children's hospitals are particularly affected because many nurses with additional training work there. "It's not so easy to use staff from an adult ward on the children's ward."
Criticism of bureaucracy and documentation requirements
In this situation there is no easy solution. "One adjustment screw would be the relief of bureaucracy and documentation requirements. The Minister of Health should go back and give the hospitals some leeway," said Gass. "One should now consistently say that the nurses only have to document the most necessary things that are important for patient treatment and can otherwise concentrate on the care."
The DKG boss also spoke out in favor of suspending the lower personnel limits. "In a situation like this, it is appropriate to give the hospitals the responsibility to decide where they can organize good care with a little less staff."
Clinics and medical practices are also complaining about bottlenecks in a number of medicines. The President of the German Medical Association, Klaus Reinhardt, called on the population to help each other with the medicine cabinet. "Now only solidarity helps. If you are healthy, you have to give medicines that are in stock to the sick. We need something like flea markets for medicines in the neighborhood," he told the "Tagesspiegel".
The Federal Union of German Associations of Pharmacists (ABDA) complained about unnecessary bureaucracy. "Of course, an individually produced fever juice in the pharmacy costs more and the health insurance companies will not reimburse it if it is not prescribed on the prescription. But the doctor cannot know that there will be no fever juice in the pharmacy," said Gabriele Overwiening of the Germans press agency. This creates a completely unnecessary bureaucracy because of the health insurance companies.
In her view, it would make sense for pharmacies to be able to decide when to produce the drug themselves. Another problem is the additional time, Overwiening said. Because: "We are not allowed to produce it in advance either."