Telephone sick leave should be extended

Status: 01/17/2022 10:25 p.m

The health ministers of the federal states want to extend the possibility of taking sick leave by phone in order to relieve practices in the Omicron wave. There has not yet been a specific decision on a possible prioritization of PCR tests.

The health ministers of the federal states have promised the resident doctors support with a view to the rapid spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. In a video link, the department heads asked the Federal Ministry of Health to extend the regulations on telephone sick leave for respiratory diseases.

The doctors need this support “so that they are not overrun by patients,” said Saxony-Anhalt’s Health Minister Petra Grimm-Benne after the consultation. The SPD politician is currently chairwoman of the Conference of Health Ministers (GMK).

Federal health ministers of the federal states discuss changing the corona test strategy

Olenka Pilz, MDR, daily news at 8:00 p.m., January 17, 2022

Consultations continue to be digital

In addition, it should continue to be possible for medical and psychotherapeutic consultations to take place digitally. There should also be a rescue package for practices if they have a high staff shortage or if non-acute treatments have to be postponed. The Federal Ministry of Health should also clarify the assumption of costs when foreign patients are admitted to Germany.

The shortening of the corona recovery status from six to three months was also an issue in the switch. The state department heads asked the Federal Ministry of Health to draw up transitional regulations for those affected. These are particularly necessary for booked trips and for access to events, said Grimm-Benne. “That has been recognized as a problem.”

Further Omicron model calculations announced

According to Grimm-Benne, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach announced in the switchboard that further model calculations would be carried out to determine how quickly omicron would spread in Germany. Grimm-Benne said the number is currently doubling every six and a half days. The results are to be discussed at another conference of health ministers at the weekend.

Changes could soon also be made to the test strategy in order to counteract overloading of laboratory capacities. A free test from quarantine or isolation should always be carried out with a rapid test instead of a PCR test. A PCR test should only be carried out in these cases for employees in critical infrastructure such as in nursing homes and hospitals. However, those who have to be in quarantine are still entitled to a PCR test, said Grimm-Benne.

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