The number of patients with corona infections in Bavarian hospitals has reached a new high. “Today more than 5,100 infected patients are being treated in Bavarian clinics,” said Tamara Bischof, district administrator of Kitzingen and president of the Bavarian Hospital Society (BKG). Also, most clinics fear red numbers, another concern is a lack of staff. Many positions are vacant, doctors and nurses are absent because they themselves are infected with the coronavirus.
“Two years of the Crown have left their mark on Bavarian hospitals,” Bischof summed up. Together with BKG CEO Roland Engehausen and Christina Leinhos, BKG’s head of digitization and policy, he presented the 13th Bavarian hospital trend in Munich.
Aside from the need for treatment, clinics therefore have to cope with a great organizational and bureaucratic effort: “More and more infection wards have to be managed and a renewed reorganization is needed,” said Bischof. “The greatest protection against infection is a sustained effort and a high physical and mental strain for all of our employees.”
From the point of view of the clinics, the easing decided by the Bundestag is therefore “incomprehensible” https://www.sueddeutsche.de/bayern/. Hospital care is limited by staff and cannot be increased overnight.
Bischof criticized the fact that society at large should apparently return to a “perceived normal” from a federal policy point of view, but that clinics and private practices have yet to guarantee treatment. “But the effort in the healthcare system over the past 24 months hasn’t been a foregone conclusion, it hasn’t been a daily affair,” said Bischof.
Many clinic directors are against the facility’s vaccination requirements
The vaccination obligation relating to the facility, in force since March 16, also employs hospital managers. Contrary to what had been feared, according to Engehausen, this did not lead to the resignation of the staff. However, about 40 percent of the clinic’s managers refused the vaccination requirement for the establishment. “Not because they are against vaccination, but because it feels unfair if the obligation to vaccinate – like many other burdens of the pandemic – rests only on the shoulders of hospitals and other health facilities,” explained Engehausen. Instead, more than 90 percent of the clinic’s managers supported mandatory vaccination.
But not only is the pandemic driving the management of the clinic, the economic situation in Bavaria also remains tense. Although fewer clinics experienced a deficit in 2020 than in 2019, Engehausen attributed it to support provided by the state at the start of the corona pandemic. In 2021, however, 61 percent would be in the red again.
More than 66% expect a deficit this year. This is also largely related to the corona pandemic – operations are a major source of income. Due to the pandemic, hospitals sometimes had to cancel non-essential surgeries, such as knee and hip surgeries, for months. Furthermore, inflation leads to large cost increases for hospitals.
Bavarian hospitals also fear a financial burden in view of rising inflation and rising energy costs in Bavaria, which further increased following the Russian attack on Ukraine. According to BKG polls, more than 90 percent of hospital managers expected politicians to pay for the associated cost increase.
In the digitization of Bavarian hospitals, the BKG sees an opportunity for better care and red tape for specialists. But: “Only one in three clinics consider themselves well prepared for the future needs of digitization,” explained Christina Leinhos.
Ahead of the next two or three years, hospital managers in Bavaria are seeing difficult times for hospitals. About 70 percent of hospitals view the future general economic situation negatively and hold the federal government accountable. “The federal legislator is called upon to implement the future course established in the coalition agreement as a reliable basis for short-term clinics and to make financing of operating costs less dependent on chance,” Bischof asked.