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Cash-strapped hospitals 'took on 13,600 new staff'

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Cash-strapped hospitals 'took on 13,600 new staff'
Photo: DPA
10:09 CEST+02:00
German hospitals have employed more than 13,000 additional nurses and carers over the last few years, despite continued complaints about underfunding, a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper says.

A special programme of the last government enabled 13,600 additional people to be employed in hospitals, a new study by the statutory health insurers suggests - yet despite this success the researchers have warned against repeating the programme.

The insurers' association (GKV-Spitzenverband) said the governmental injection of €1.1 billion was crucial in the increase of care personnel in German hospitals between 2009 and 2011.

Around 70 percent of all hospitals signed up for the special funding and used it to employ more staff, while around 4,400 jobs were cut in other hospitals, according to figures from the Statistics Office.

The German Association of Hospitals reported that around 40 percent of hospitals made a financial loss in 2012, the Süddeutsche Zeitung said.

Increases in staff-associated costs was a major cause for concern, with wages rising by 18.6 percent since 2006 - compared with a 8.7 percent rise in prices hospitals charged over the same period. Many managers reacted to this by cutting nurse and carer jobs, something which was seemingly successfully countered by the job creation programme.

Yet despite this, the Süddeutsche Zeitung said that the GKV-Spitzenverband was not in favour of the programme being revived, saying it was papering over cracks by helping hospitals which were not managing their budgets well - and not helping those which were employing enough care personnel.

The Local/hc

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