Coronavirus

Second wave: Public health officers warn of shortage of health offices

Health authorities are responsible for, among other things, tracking the contact of people infected with corona.

picture alliance / Sven Braun / dpa

The medical officers do not see the health authorities in Germany prepared for a second corona wave. “For a second pandemic wave, the health offices are far too short,” said the chair of the Federal Association of Doctors of Public Health, Ute Teichert, the newspapers of the Funke media group. “With the increasing number of infections, a huge problem is rolling towards us.”

The health authorities could not wait until the Federal Government’s planned measures to strengthen the public health service came into force, said Teichert. “We need a short-term solution. We need to know where the health departments can get reinforcements in an emergency, ”she said. Specifically, she spoke in favor of a nationwide volunteer register – a kind of job exchange that, in an emergency, places employees who have already been trained.

In the past 20 years, a third of the medical jobs have been lost. It is difficult to fill vacant positions because doctors in public service are paid much less than in clinics or in research. That doesn’t make a job in the health department particularly attractive.

“In order for this to change, the public health service pact has to achieve a significant salary improvement,” demands Teichert. The federal government announced the pact in the spring as part of the Corona stimulus package.

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