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Karl Lauterbach wants to prepare the healthcare system for a war scenario

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Karl Lauterbach wants to prepare the healthcare system for a war scenario

Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) wants to prepare the German healthcare system for possible military conflicts. Germany must not only prepare itself better for future pandemics, but also for “major disasters and possible military conflicts,” Lauterbach told the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” (NOZ) on Saturday. He announced a corresponding bill for the summer.

“Doing nothing is not an option. There also needs to be a turning point for the healthcare system,” the minister told the newspaper. The pandemic has shown that the German healthcare system is not sufficiently prepared for scenarios “that we have long considered unthinkable”. In the event of an alliance, Germany could “become a hub for the care of injured and injured people from other countries,” he warned.

Lauterbach: In the event of a crisis, every doctor and every hospital must know what to do

In response to the corona pandemic, the traffic light coalition agreed when it was launched two and a half years ago to better equip the structures of the health system for major crises. “After the criminal Russian attack on Ukraine, this challenge has unfortunately become more important,” Lauterbach told the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”. “We have already exchanged ideas with specialists from the Bundeswehr and are working with the Defense and Interior Ministries.”

Lauterbach further said that he expects “that we will present a bill on this in the summer, which will then be initiated by the cabinet promptly.” The main point of the law is that in the event of a crisis, “every doctor, every hospital, every health authority” knows what to do.

Germany needs around 2,500 new doctors every year

“We need clear responsibilities – for example for the distribution of a high number of injured people among the clinics in Germany.” The reporting channels and the options for transferring patients throughout Germany must also be clear.

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Bavaria’s Health Minister Judith Gerlach (CSU) warned of an overall threat to medical care in Germany – due to too few medical study places. “We need around 2,500 new doctors every year if we maintain the current medical care,” she told the “Augsburger Allgemeine” on Saturday. To date, the states have been waiting for the federal government to fulfill its promises from the joint “Master Plan for Medical Studies 2020”.

The heart of the plan is the reform of medical training, “which has been a long time coming since then.” Gerlach called on Lauterbach to address this “structural problem.” She accused him of delaying the cabinet decision and the Federal Council procedure. “That is incomprehensible.”

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