BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – The health departments in Germany are to be strengthened beyond their central role in the Corona crisis. Chancellor wants to talk about the situation and problems on site Angela Merkel (CDU) speak in a video conference this Tuesday. Officials, municipal health officials, mayors, district administrators and representatives of the federal states should take part. The federal and state governments have already pledged billions in aid for the 375 employees who have been working under high pressure for months in the fight against the coronavirus – tracking chains of infection or arranging tests and quarantine.
The German Medical Association is urging the next concrete steps to advance the strengthening of the mter. “We are very pleased that the federal and state governments have put together an unprecedented aid package for more staff and better digital equipment with the pact for the public health service,” said medical president Klaus Reinhardt of the German press agency. “But nobody should believe that the filling of 5,000 new positions can simply be decided.” The real work is only now beginning. Smart and sustainable concepts are needed to expand the number of medical staff in the offices.
Reinhardt campaigned for a separate collective agreement for doctors in the public health service. Secure, doctor-specific remuneration is necessary for permanently better staffing. “This is the only way health officials can compete with other medical institutions for highly motivated doctors.” In addition to personnel expansion, digital networking must have absolute priority. “Uniform and above all fast reporting chains” between health offices, state and federal authorities are necessary.
According to a concept by Federal Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) and his country colleagues, at least 5,000 permanent full-time positions should be created in the public health service by the end of 2022 – at least 1,500 of them by the end of next year. Widespread support for new digital solutions is planned. There are also plans to provide incentives through salary law, “collective bargaining agreements” and more attractive working conditions. The federal government wants to provide four billion euros by 2026 for the implementation of the measures. According to the association, the health departments have around 17,000 employees.
According to a survey, the majority of people in Germany are satisfied with the fact that decisions are made on steps to contain the corona, especially at the local level. Around 60 percent said in the survey by the Civey Institute on behalf of the German District Association that this had “definitely” or “more or less” worked.
President Reinhard Sager sees this as confirmation that “the decisive factor is tailor-made, locally appropriate action”, as he told the dpa. Containment measures, contact tracing and tests are in good hands in the hands of counties and municipalities. “If we have been able to learn one thing in the past six months, it is this: The pandemic can be managed well on a decentralized basis.” Only a few nationwide guard rails are necessary./sam/hrz/DP/zb