Pediatricians warn of supply bottlenecks in Germany
The professional association of paediatricians warns of a supply shortage in Germany. The reason for this is the baby boom in big cities.
“Germany has experienced an almost historic baby boom for five years now,” reports the Association of Paediatricians (BVKJ). According to the Federal Statistical Office, 776,883 babies were born in Germany in 2016 – that is almost 19 percent more than 5 years ago!
Reason for this are subsidies, such as the parental allowance or the improved care options for children.
German health care system with Baby Boom overwhelmed
The great joy of the increase in births is now followed by the shock: The health system is overwhelmed with the baby boom. Specifically, this looks like this in everyday life:
- For the first check-ups of the children parents have to calculate long waiting times in medical practices – the surgeries are overcrowded.
- Paediatricians can no longer accept new patients in many places.
- A whole generation of paediatricians is retiring – there are too few new paediatricians behind.
- Younger paediatricians rarely work full-time. Understandably, considering that full-time physicians used to have a 50 to 60 hour week earlier.
- Many paediatricians now specialize in a specific field, eg allergology, cardiology, rheumatology. As a result, they have less time for the basic care of children and adolescents.
Lack of paediatricians, long waiting times
How can you solve this dilemma? BVKJ president dr. Thomas Fischbach demands:
- A reorientation of the requirements planning: The need for paediatricians should be determined and adapted regionally.
- More young physicians in the field of pediatrics inspire. Among other things by additional remuneration of “overtime”, which comes about with new provisions and vaccinations.
- Financial support of further education to the pediatrician.
However, these demands can only be met in the long term. Until then, it means for parents: make friends with long waiting times at the pediatrician and arrange appointments for preliminary examinations and vaccinations long in advance.