At the German Care Day, representatives of the industry not only demanded more money, but also major and imaginative reforms from politics. Health Minister Spahn emphasized that he supported the desire for higher wages.

At the start of the German Care Day, the Kuratorium Deutsche Altershilfe (KDA) and the Care Council have called for creative reforms and higher wages in care. “We need more pioneering spirit and creativity in the reform of care. The topic of care played a subordinate role in the election campaign compared to other topics,” said KDA chairman Helmut Kneppe. “Age does not always mean frailty. We should see the potential of old age and recognize and integrate the desire for participation of people who are no longer working much more strongly.”

The care industry meets up to and including Thursday for the German Care Day in Berlin. Around 1500 participants from politics, science and health care are expected.

The President of the Nursing Council, Christine Vogler, called for better wages for nurses. “New studies have shown that care in terms of workload and responsibility would be appropriately rewarded at around 4000 euros for a full-time position. Today we have a range between 2100 and 3700 euros, depending on where nurses work. Few of them currently reach 4000 euros “, said Vogler of the” Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung “. The future federal government must “finally answer in principle” how care should be financed in the future.

Support from Spahn for higher wages

Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn supports the wage demands of the nursing staff. Spahn said: “4000 euros, I can go with that.” He could also imagine that the minimum wage for nursing care would be increased in the direction of 3000 euros, which is currently 2700 euros for skilled workers. At the same time, the CDU politician made it clear that wages and salaries would have to be negotiated by the collective bargaining partners. Politicians cannot do that.

Spahn called on the nurses to band together to enforce their demands. In view of the shortage of staff in the industry, they would have more leverage, said Spahn: “You have to assert your interests.”

The minister said that the grand coalition created the conditions for every newly hired nurse in hospitals and old people’s homes to be refinanced. It was possible to stop the downward spiral, but the path to more staff will take at least ten years. The legal improvements have not yet arrived in the everyday life of the nursing staff, he admitted.

Financial relief for those in need of care

On the occasion of the care day, the German Foundation for Patient Protection demanded financial relief for those in need of care. “While health insurance fully finances care in the clinic and for patients at home, long-term care insurance does not even cover all of the care costs of those affected,” said Foundation Board Member Eugen Brysch to the editorial network in Germany.

“The federal government alone decides on the adjustment of the subsidy to the expenditure,” criticized Brysch. The long-term care insurance must be placed on a broad foundation, he further demanded. “That can only work with tax and health insurance subsidies as well as an adjustment of membership fees.” The current subsidy principle of long-term care insurance is fatal. In addition, Brysch demanded generation-appropriate and future-proof financing of the long-term care insurance.

Dahmen sees “massive deterioration”

The Green health politician Janosch Dahmen called for working conditions in nursing to be improved. The situation in care for the elderly and the sick is dramatic – “after a year and a half of the pandemic, it is much worse than it was before,” said Dahmen in the ARD morning magazine.

“The situation is dramatic”: Janosch Dahmen, Alliance 90 / The Greens, on the care situation

Morning magazine, October 13th, 2021

Despite all the improvements made in recent years, the workload of the nurses and the quality of care for the patients have “massively worsened”.

Dahmen sees working conditions as a key lever. “If you look at why people today no longer want to work in elderly care but also in nursing, then that has less to do with fair pay and more to do with the massively deteriorated working conditions,” he said. The Green called for a “minimum staffing on the stations that is appropriate to the activity”.

“Slide down”

Previously, the social scientist Stefan Sell had warned against a further worsening of the nursing emergency. Despite changes in tariffs, for example, hospital care and care for the elderly have been “on a downward slide”, said the director of the Institute for Social Policy and Labor Market Research at the Koblenz University of Applied Sciences WDR.

Existing problems, such as the lack of staff, have been lamented for many years, and at the same time the problems continue to worsen. Many experts “urgently point out that we should actually make a big leap forward”.