The public health service in Hesse risks not being able to fulfill its statutory duties. In response to a parliamentary question from the FDP parliamentary group in Landtag, the Wiesbaden Ministry of Social Affairs reports that all 24 public health services in the country have significant difficulties filling vacancies. A specific number of job vacancies is not available to the Ministry. The fact is, however, that "in the meantime, many positions are being vacated over a longer period because there are no suitable candidates."
The related problems are already noticeable: it is said that the activities of the medical service for children and young people in many places are restricted to entrance exams at school – and even two services cannot be implemented due to lack of staff or only partially. Infectious-hygienic monitoring of medical practices and medical facilities in some places is "incomplete, not regular and at too long intervals".
Furthermore, health reporting could not be carried out to the extent necessary to control the necessary preventive measures or to identify possible deficiencies. Additional preventative measures, such as vaccination tips and informational events, have been sustained to maintain the basic tasks.
"We look forward to the collapse of the public health service," warns Yanki Pürsün, a spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group. In addition to the missing doctors, additional vacancies are foreseen for retirement, the Ministry replied.
As an important reason for the lack of physicians for OGD, there is often an increase in reimbursement, which significantly deviates from the rate in municipal hospitals or university clinics. Strong wage cuts should therefore be accepted by stakeholders. On the other hand, "calculated working time, which is of particular interest to young parents", according to the Ministry, could be a motivation for joining the ÖGD.
In addition, they are referred to as missing qualifications for a public health professional. This is often due to lack of approval for further training of medical officers. In addition, there is no public health department affiliated with the University of Medicine in Hesse to familiarize students with the content of the course at an early stage.
Although there are various universities of applied sciences, such as health management, health promotion or nutrition, and they also offer "public health", but they are not explicitly qualified for medical-medical tasks at ÖGD.
Therefore, efforts by government and health authorities to fill job vacancies with increased information on work areas and time spent at ÖGD, ranging from job advertisements in a continuous loop to the creation of new training centers.
The impact is likely to be most favorable: in some cases, health care providers are already introduced in summer payments or supplements.