Research reveals extent of health staffing shortfall


Services union ver.di has strongly restated its demand for needs-based and binding staffing levels across all hospitals, following the publication of new research revealing a shortfall of up to 50,000 full-time employees in intensive care units. The union argues that this is a huge gap that endangers intensive care as well as the health of professional nurses. The study published by the Hans Böckler Foundation, calculates that in order to comply with the Nursing Staff Lower Limits Ordinance alone, the number of full-time positions would have to rise from 28,000 (as of 2020) to 50,800. If the recommendations of the DIVI intensive care and emergency medicine association are made the benchmark, then 78,200 full-time employees are needed – almost a tripling of the current workforce. Ver.di argues that the pandemic exposed longstanding problems with workers leaving the profession or reducing their hours because of the pressure work. The union wants to see application of the PPR 2.0 staffing provisions that were developed more than two years ago by the German Hospital Society, the German Nursing Council and ver.di for a needs-based personnel assessment in hospital care.

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