Home Breaking The nursing staff’s anger is understandable

The nursing staff’s anger is understandable


Nurse Ricardo Lange is visibly excited when he talks about the problems in the health system on “Anne Will”. “We don’t have any nursing staff and nobody talks about it in the summer.” Instead, the burly bald man says, in connection with the increasing number of corona infections, about masks (obligations), tests and vaccinations.

If the causes of the overload – namely the lack of staff – are not eliminated, “how do you justify (…) masks again and again”, Lange asks Federal Minister of Health Lauterbach.

The anger is understandable. Since the beginning of the Corona crisis, politicians and the media have been happy to use hospital staff to enforce significant restrictions on fundamental rights. The argument: If the health system is threatened with overload, measures must remain possible.

Accordingly, for example, Bundestag Vice President Katrin Göring-Eckardt of the Greens. A patient like Lange is just annoying, rightly pointing out that the health system has been overburdened for years and little has been done about it. And he’s right.

The economization of the health system – pushed by the red-green federal government – has led to a thinning out of the nursing staff. Although the grand coalition has already compensated for some shortcomings, the wards are still understaffed and the well-being of patients is endangered – but hardly anyone in the public seems to be interested.

While there was still loud applause for the nursing staff from the balconies at the beginning of the pandemic, broad social solidarity has largely failed to materialize since then. This is particularly evident in the staff strikes by university hospital employees in North Rhine-Westphalia, which has now lasted for more than two months, but only received late media attention.

Few politicians showed solidarity with the strikers. And the influencer community on Twitter, which always calls for the toughest lockdowns, hardly seems to be interested in nurses.

To make matters worse, the federal government made sure that hospital staff, who had previously worked beyond their own limit for months, could no longer go about their usual work with the facility-related compulsory vaccination even in the middle of the pandemic.

And the maintenance bonus? It took the federal government more than half a year to get it off the ground. It was only about a ridiculous billion euros. Apparently, care in the coalition has little priority.

At least Federal Health Minister Lauterbach now wants to present a long-term care relief law before the summer break. But that’s not enough. There should be high bonuses for young professionals, those in employment and for caregivers who have quit their jobs in recent years. An earlier retirement age could also be discussed.

But first, politicians and the public should agree on a rule of thumb. Anyone who remains silent about the catastrophic conditions in care should not demand any restrictions on fundamental rights.