It was a drive-through for doctors, but not for corona testing. The Kassenärtzliche Vereinigung (Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians) set up a drive-through at the Rigal’schen Wiese to hand out protective equipment. Doctors only had to drive up in their cars to pick up the supplies.
On Wednesday, trucks from the Kassenärtzliche Vereinigung (Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians) (KV) were parked at the Rigal’schen Wiese, where employees distributed boxes of masks, medical smocks and disinfectants to doctors. "In March and April, the trucks and our central warehouse were under police protection," says Dirk Skalla from KV, who is responsible for the distribution. "A truck like this was worth 1.2 million euros at the time." In the meantime, many of the protective items are available on the market again, unlike at the beginning of the corona pandemic when procuring the supplies was problematic. Still, KV does not publicly announce where it is distributing the protective equipment. Skalla also does not disclose where the central warehouse is located. In the evening, the trucks drive there and are loaded for the distribution the following morning.
On this day, twelve or so employees are at the Rigal’sche Wiese to distribute the load of supplies from the three trucks. Before they start, long lines of cars form in the morning. The doctors were able to register in advance online. The employees check their registration on site, then load the cardboard boxes into the cars - one package per doctor. "These contain 300 mouth-nose protectors, 200 FFP2 masks - and some smocks and disinfectants," says Skalla. "Because we didn't have enough of these in stock, we distributed them randomly among the packages.” The material comes from the Federal Ministry of Health, the KV gives it away free of charge. It takes just a few seconds to hand them out: The car drives up, an employee asks, "On the back seat or in the trunk?", loads the boxes and the next car can drive up. The initiative takes place not only in Bonn, but also in other cities - including Neuss, Cologne and Aachen.
In the afternoon, the trucks are already as good as empty. The license plates reveal where the doctors are coming from: Rhein-Sieg county, Bergheim county, Neuwied and also from Aachen. Birte Scheer and Bernd Kallenberg came from near Aachen because they missed the distribution there. "I think it's a great initiative," says the internist. "Four months ago there was almost no chance to get any of the things here." That's why they were desperate at the beginning of March. She is also worried about the future. She finds it difficult, for example, to test all patients who have cold symptoms. One has to get through it. "What is valid today may be outdated tomorrow," she says. "Nobody knows exactly how to handle a pandemic."
Lydia Breuer came about 70 kilometers from Kall to stock up on equipment. The psychiatrist takes a few more packages for her work colleagues from there. Last time, one of them took their turn to pick up the supplies. She says that things are going quite well with the provision of supplies right now - in contrast to the beginning of the pandemic. "Nobody had anything then." The fact that Germany is coming through the Corona crisis comparatively well is also due to the fact that there are many doctors in private practice and hospitals are not overburdened. "My niece lives in London," she says. There, she says, she can hardly get an appointment with a doctor.
(Orig. text: Dennis Scherer;Translation: ck)