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Pediatric medicine: Union criticizes Lauterbach – and calls for crisis summit

Pediatric medicine: Union criticizes Lauterbach – and calls for crisis summit

Doctors and nurses in pediatrics are working at their limits, according to research by the starThe Union also blames Health Minister Lauterbach for this – and demands that no more time be lost.

According to reports from the star In response to the crisis in Germany’s children’s hospitals, the Union in the Bundestag is calling on Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) to hold a crisis summit on children’s and adolescent medicine. The meeting should be the first step towards a new offensive in this area, said the health policy spokesman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Tino Sorge, to the starLauterbach must heed the experts’ cries for help and bring them to the table: “There is no time left to lose.”

Emergency pediatrics

Stern is reporting on the crisis in children’s hospitals. You can find more interviews, reports and videos on the topic on our website at www.stern.de/kindermedizin.

What needs to happen?
If you work as a nurse or doctor in a children’s hospital and are interested in discussing the consequences of inadequate care and possible solutions, please contact us at

The CDU member of the Bundestag sharply criticized Lauterbach. “The fact that in Germany, the care of sick children has to be triaged is an intolerable situation,” he said. In the past, the Federal Minister of Health had already reacted “far too timidly to acute bottlenecks” in pediatric medicine. “Now an emergency has been reached again, although the problems have been known for years,” said the CDU member of parliament.

Pediatric medicine: “There is a risk of months of stalemate”

From Sorge’s point of view, the situation is made even more difficult by the fact that hospital reform has been at a standstill for months. This is because Lauterbach designed the project without consulting the states and hospitals. “This solo effort by the minister is now taking its toll,” said the health expert. “There is a risk of a months-long stalemate, which we cannot afford, especially for children’s hospitals.”

Green politician Janosch Dahmen sees this hospital reform as “the necessary antidote” to unfavourable developments in the field. “The situation in many children’s hospitals is extremely difficult,” the health policy spokesman for the Green parliamentary group told starThey are underfunded, lack skilled staff and, at the same time, are repeatedly chronically overloaded.

“The hospitals for the youngest children have now become patients themselves,” said Dahmen. Instead of the unpredictable care of critically ill children, lucrative, plannable interventions on adults are much more worthwhile for many hospital groups. Hospital reform could remedy this. “The reform will also mean that hospitals will receive money for maintaining capacity,” said Dahmen. This will help children’s hospitals in particular.

Dr. Michael Sasse, senior physician, pediatric intensive care unit, Hannover

“Who gets the bed?”: Intensive care physicians on triage, seriously ill children and angry parents

10:21 min

The cabinet approved the bill for hospital reform on May 15. It now has to be passed by the Bundestag and Bundesrat. There is still massive resistance, particularly in the states. Dahmen warned that if the reform does not come about, there is a risk “that more children’s hospitals will have to reduce capacity or even close completely.”

In addition to hospital reform, the aim is to “relieve the burden on emergency departments in children’s hospitals in particular through the upcoming emergency reform,” said Dahmen, who himself worked as an emergency physician before joining the Bundestag. Minister Lauterbach presented key points on this in January.

Children’s hospitals are also feeling the effects of the ever-increasing shortage of skilled workers, says Dahmen. He is hearing “fears from hospitals that the introduction of generalist training in nursing could have led to fewer newly qualified people choosing to work as pediatric nurses.” This will be looked at as part of an evaluation and the effects will then be responded to.

Doctor: “We have to decide which child needs our treatment the most”

The star is currently reporting on the crisis in pediatric medicine in a major focus. For months, reporters have been researching, among other places, Germany’s largest pediatric intensive care unit, Ward 67 of the Hannover Medical School (MHH). The senior physician there, , who has been a pediatric intensive care physician for 30 years, speaks of a “catastrophe”. He and his team are constantly forced to triage. “We have to decide which child needs our treatment the most. And then we can’t care for the others. If I have a bed for three patients, then I have to choose who goes into the bed.”

The Vice President of the German Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (DGKJ), Jörg Dötsch, who is also Director of the Clinic for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at the University Hospital of Cologne, calls for star urgent measures to ensure that beds that are currently closed can be used again quickly. “We need financial incentives so that nursing staff can return to work after retirement or a career break and part-time workers can increase their hours. It would also make sense to introduce flexible annual working time accounts so that more work can be done, especially in the particularly stressful winter months.”

Source: Stern

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