Healthcare in Germany tops most countries, but gradually patients are facing increasing costs and political doctoring. Besides, the group of the chronically ill, who often incure the biggest costs, do no longer get private insurances very easily. As a result, the 90 percent who pay into the state system also pay for the most expensive cases. In 2001 total spending on health amounted to 10.8 percent of GDP (gross domestic product). According to the Euro health consumer index, which placed it in seventh position in its 2015 survey, Germany has long had the most restriction-free and consumer-oriented healthcare system in Europe.
But now all that are changing through an increase in lack of professional medical staff across Germany.
Medical professionals in Germany are supposed to help the sick, but they are now in dare need and are calling for help themselves before it is too late. Hospitals in Germany have a dramatic shortage of nursing staff. The failures of the last 20 years of austerity in health and social services, hospital management and education policy are now showing their ugly faces.
For example, an intensive care specialist from Hamburg said, “At the end of 1999, nursing schools were merged in many German cities on the premise of ‘we now have enough training centres and enough students”. Now 20 years later we have the “salad” In large clinics the situation is so difficult that intensive care units even had to turn away patients and the situation is worsening daily.
A retired chief physician asked. “How did we get this far? We know how many children would be born in the country, how many would leave school and how many would be accepted into education? We also have data on immigration and emigration and their accompanying qualifications or didn´t we? It must have therefore been clear for a long time to predict what our medical and nursing staff landscape will look like in the future”.
According to experts assessment in an RTL TV Report on 27.12.2019 “the job is very hard and the burdens have risen noticeably very high in recent years in all hospitals in Germany with drastic consequences: There is less time for patients, finding additional staff is very difficult as the profession of a medical staff is a 365 days 24 hours job. Besides, the payment at the moment is not attractive. Today, there is a shortage of about 17.000 specialists in German clinics alone.
Filling the vacancies in intensive care units is not possible at the moment. The consequences are: Ambulances with emergency cases cannot drive to these clinics anymore. Emergency vehicles have to travel longer distances because intensive care units are no longer able to receive patients – a third of all hospitals reported this instances this year. Statistics indicate Germany in comparison to other countries in Europe, has an average of 14-16 patients ratio to one nurse. In other European countries it is perhaps six patients or 7 to one nursing staff.
In an interview with EuroAfricaNews-Magazine Team, one medical officer said: “20 years ago, up to 39 patients on late shift were treated with 4-5! Specialists, i.e. with registered nurses and caregivers. The patients were optimally cared for, we were able to respond to their wishes and needs. One full care-case was treated by two people. Today we care for up to 45 patients of the same specialty in late shift with max. 3 certified staff nurses. Wishes and needs can simply do no longer receive much attention. The constantly increasing documentation obligation and lack of personnel make it impossible for us to care for patients adequately. Some patients wait 15 minutes for a health professional when they ring the bell”.
Facts Figures and Consequences:
2019 – 40,000 unfilled nursing jobs to date.
By 2030 there will be a shortage of up to 300,000 nursing staffEmergency care suffers in almost every Hospital and medical institution.
Due to a lack of personnel, hospital beds and rooms are rigorously closed and that means concretely…patients will not be given beds in cases of accidents and emergencies. One has to look in vain for a free bed for perhaps over 80 kilometers further away. The same applies to children – that they could die because of this can be read everywhere. The Hanover Medical School has gone to the press on this issue. Many Pediatric Clinics have closed cribs. The lack of staff increases patient mortality. This is proven by every single study about on the theme. The rate of mental and Psycho-Social disorders among nursing staffs is increasing massively every year.
Pregnant women do not find a midwife. Since 2015, more than 50 delivery rooms in Germany have been closed due to lack of midwives or because births are no longer financially viable for the clinics. Midwifery in delivery room has become a disastrous, Russian Rolette – self-determined birth is impossible with the current personnel key and working conditions.
Help is urgently needed. To defuse the situation, the government has announced short-term measures. Mr. Jens Spahn – the Federal Health Minister has announced to allow training without school fees and a higher remuneration for medical-allied-job trainees. Official hurdles in the recruitment of nursing staff from abroad are being relaxed, for example to speed up decisions on visa applications etc.
The older the German society becomes, the more urgent the question of how the need for nursing care can be managed becomes. According to the German Federal Statistics Office, about 3.4 million people in the Federal Republic of Germany were already classified as in need of nursing care in December 2017 – an increase of about 19 percent compared to 2015.
By next summer, concrete proposals will be on the table on how the nursing profession can be made more attractive. In November, Minister Spahn already brought his nursing staff reinforcement law through the Bundestag – a billion-euro package that provides for the creation of 13,000 new jobs in nursing for the elderly and the finance for new jobs in nursing in hospitals, among other issues.