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Vacation season: Lack of doctors in the Malteser hospital in Bonn

Vacation season : Lack of doctors in the Malteser hospital in Bonn

The hospital in Medinghoven can currently not provide all services - due to the vacation season. Non-acute surgeries have to be postponed until a later date. Do other clinics have similar problems?

The hospital in Medinghoven can currently not provide all services - due to the vacation season. Non-acute surgeries have to be postponed until a later date. Do other clinics have similar problems? Both her children were born in the Malteser hospital, years later she had kidney surgery in there. Again, for the now necessary ambulatory operation after a gynaecological procedure last year, Doris Vianden from Witterschlick wanted to rely on the doctor and care team of the hospital in Medinghoven.

„I always felt very well looked-after there,” the 66-year-old says in an GA interview. „I trust them, and for me, this family hospital is the only place.“ But the hospital currently faces a lack of doctors. With the referral of her GP, Doris Vianden contacted the clinic to discuss details of the necessary surgery.

„Because I have to take blood thinners and suffer from heart problems, I only wanted to go to a hospital and not into a surgical practice,” she says. But she did not get an appointment. „I was told that the Malteser hospital currently only performs emergency operations and that it has no capacity for planned procedures,“ she says, annoyed. She is not able to wait for an appointment. „I’m in pain all the time and I often feel sick. I wanted to get this thing done.”

That the Malteser hospital has to select which surgeries they do and which they don’t is confirmed by Dieter Birr, commercial director at the hospital. „During the vacation season right now we cannot offer all our doctor services, we have to prioritise“, he explains. „Our three available medical specialists are scheduled for obstetrics and acute gynaecological surgeries. A non-acute operation, like in this particular case, has to be postponed until a later date. The lack of doctors is not just a word, it’s the reality and particularly noticeable during the summer vacation season,” he says.

UKB clinic Venusberg runs business as usual

Doris Vianden turned towards a different clinic in the meantime. „There, I got an appointment immediately,” she reports. The surgery was performed during the week. She would have preferred to had got to „her“ hospital. „From Witterschlick, that clinic is easier to get to. Which is important for my husband who is walking-impaired and who wants to visit me all the time of course,” she said. „Maybe I would have had better chances, had I been admitted by ambulance.

But that cannot be a solution now, can it?“ she said. At the UKB clinic on the Venusberg its business as usual despite the current vacation season. „No,” says spokesperson Magdalena Nitz, „we have no staff shortages and are well prepared. We are well staffed continuously. No matter if it’s Christmas, during the summer or carnival season. Every patient gets an appointment.

Also for planned procedures and during the summer holidays.“ The work roster for the Johanniter and the forest hospital also show no gaps. „There are no shortages here either,” says Michael Forst. This goes for all departments too, which aren’t plannable.

„In the ER and the obstetrics department we never know how many patients might come. But we are well-staffed there. The business is running as usual.“ Of course, a hospital business can be affected by the vacation season, says Daniela Kreuzberg, who is director of operations at the GFO Klinik Bonn (Marien-Hospital and Josef-Hospital). But that’s usually planned well in advance.

„If some of our employees are on holidays, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we have a staff problem. We are not affected by the lack of doctors,” she said. Original text: Gabriele Immenkeppel Translation: Mareike Graepel