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Germany prepares hospitals for military conflict

“THE Germany it must not only prepare for future pandemics, but also for major disasters and possible military conflicts,” said Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, in an interview in today's issue of the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” newspaper, expressing fears of an extension of the war beyond Ukrainian territory after two years of hostilities. “We also need a turn (Zeitwende) in the health system as well care especially as Germany could become a hub for treating wounded from other countries if NATO's mutual assistance clause is activated,” Lauterbach argued, referring to what the coalition government under Olaf Scholz has done to deal with the pandemic and better equip the structures of the health care system for major crises.

“I don't take risks”

“After the criminal Russian attack on Ukraine, this challenge has unfortunately become more important,” he said. “There we have a legislative gap, which we have to address in order to be prepared for a disaster or even a case where we have to assist another NATO member state (under Article 5) however unlikely that may be” . Lauterbach also gave the outline of the law that should be ready by the summer as follows: “In case of crisis every doctor, every hospital, every health authority should know what to do. We need clear responsibilities, for example for the distribution of a large number of wounded in Germany's hospitals. Communication channels and options for patient transfers across Germany must also be clear. And regulations on stockpiling do not appear to be adequate. But also the development and distribution of the medical staff must be clarified. And all this must be put into practice.”

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach

Lauterbach reminded that Germany has already received for hospitalization as many seriously injured people from Ukraine as any other European country. In response to a related question, the Social Democrat minister denied that he was at risk. “It would be foolish to say that we are not preparing for a military conflict, so it will not come. By that logic, we wouldn't even need an army. Doing nothing is not an option. We have already exchanged ideas with experts from the Bundeswehr and are cooperating with the ministries of defense and the interior. I expect that we will present a relevant bill in the summer for immediate approval by the cabinet.”

“How many injured, where, for how long”

Janos Damen, a Green party health expert, agreed with Lauterbach. “There is an immediate need for a picture of the capabilities and efficiency of the entire country to provide health care,” he wrote on Platform X. “We should know on a daily basis how many wounded or sick people we can care for where, how, when and for how long . The Achilles heel of healthcare in Germany is its dependence on global supply chains for medical products and drugs. We need adequate reserves and the creation of decentralized reserve capabilities … ongoing wars and crises make it necessary to also be prepared to care for a large number of wounded and sick.”

source: Deutsche Welle

Source: News Beast

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