Bundeswehr losing too many doctors

The German military is losing its medical staff in droves, according to Munich daily Süddeutsche Zeitung on Tuesday.

Bundeswehr losing too many doctors
Photo: DPA

Some 68 Bundeswehr doctors had left the service by the end of October this year. In 2007, only 11 doctors left the service, the paper reported from a Defence Ministry paper to be delivered to the parliamentary committee on Tuesday.

The year of 2008 has been an “erratic increase in of unplanned medical personnel losses,” the paper reported. The military will be unable to reach its goal of increasing medical officers from 3,070 to 3,500 by 2010 at this rate. Instead, if current conditions persist, the Bundeswehr will not even be able to maintain current levels of medical staff.

The Defence Ministry report attributed the high losses of doctors to better opportunities in public hospitals and distaste for foreign missions.

Germany currently has some 3,500 troops stationed in northern Afghanistan who have become the target of an increasing number of insurgent attacks as part of the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission there.

The German Bundestag, or lower house of parliament, voted in October to extend Germany’s deployment in Afghanistan and increase the number of soldiers deployed there to 4,500.