Healthcare: Implementation of compulsory vaccination causes resentment

Status: 01.02.2022 6:11 p.m

From mid-March, the corona vaccination will apply to employees in clinics and care. Critics fear an aggravation of the staff shortage. There are also many open questions regarding implementation.

It was discussed for a long time, and it will come into force on March 16th: The corona vaccination requirement in healthcare facilities. But even a few weeks before the planned launch, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. Doctors, hospitals and homes should initially be able to continue to use staff who are not vaccinated against Corona. “Until the health department has issued a ban on entry or activity, the person concerned can continue to be employed,” according to reports from Deutsches Ärzteblatt and the “Business Insider” portal from the Federal Ministry of Health.

Health authorities decide on measures

Im German Infection Protection Act It says that by March 15, employees in healthcare facilities must present their employer with “proof of completed vaccination, proof of recovery, or a medical certificate that they cannot be vaccinated”. If there is no proof, the health department must be informed. From March 16, it would then no longer be possible for the employees to “take up work in the affected income area without submitting appropriate proof”.

The responsible health authority will ban you from entering or working in the clinic or care facility. A spokesman for the Ministry of Health confirmed this to “Business Insider”: The Health Department decides “on how to proceed and the measures to be taken at its discretion”. Not being vaccinated should therefore not automatically mean a ban on working. After a ban on entry or activity has been issued, the affected employees should then generally no longer be entitled to remuneration.

There have been doubts about the feasibility for weeks. had Health authorities in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Thuringia and Berlin announced that they were overwhelmed with the review. Elke Bruns-Philipps, deputy chairwoman of the Federal Association of Doctors in the Public Health Service (BVÖGD), told the “Rheinische Post” that she assumed that on average five to ten percent of the employees were not fully vaccinated. “This is a significant burden with the examination of each individual case, as is now planned, which the health authorities cannot cope with in a timely manner,” she criticized.

Nursing council calls for education campaign instead of compulsory vaccination

Fundamental criticism came from the German Nursing Council. “Society must understand that we all have to vaccinate. That can only be a task for society as a whole. In the overall situation, the facility-related vaccination requirement does not help us at all,” said Christine Vogler, President of the Nursing Council, of the dpa news agency. “Focusing on the nursing profession and giving them the buck is not justified.”

Instead, in their view, there should be massive educational campaigns and increased efforts for vaccinations or even a general obligation to vaccinate. Large associations in the care sector have come together to form the care council as an umbrella organization. Vogler pleaded for a risk assessment on site by the respective health department in the practical application of the facility vaccination requirement. “There’s nothing else to do. A health department can’t say we’re pulling people away. What do we do with those in need of care then?”

According to media reports, the Ministry of Health is planning to launch a new reporting system and low-threshold vaccination offers. In facilities with a below-average vaccination rate, it should then be the task of the federal states “to submit targeted vaccination offers again, for example by visiting with mobile vaccination teams”.

12,000 nurses are looking for work

The CEO of the German Hospital Society (DKG), Gerald Gaß, also told the “Rheinische Post” that essential questions regarding the implementation were still unresolved. The German Foundation for Patient Protection warned against compulsory vaccination “with a crowbar”. March 15 cannot be adhered to, said board member Eugen Brysch. He sees the care of up to 200,000 people in need of care and sick people at risk because a significant proportion of employees will no longer come to work. “A delay is urgently needed.” Lauterbach had already told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” a few days ago that a postponement was out of the question.

According to the Federal Employment Agency (BA), it is rather unlikely that there could be a staff shortage due to compulsory vaccination. In December and January, 25,000 more people in the health and social sector than usual reported looking for work – around 12,000 of them from care. However, the increase is at a level “that doesn’t have to worry us all,” said Daniel Terzenbach, member of the BA board.

Ethics Council member Andreas Lob-Hüdepohl criticized the announcement by individual district administrators that they would circumvent the facility-related vaccination requirement. It’s a scandal, Lob-Hüdepohl told the Catholic News Agency (KNA). This perverts the law.

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