As the pandemic wrecks havoc to both health and industry, German hospitals have warned they may be unable to pay employees salaries in the first quarter of 2021. The German Hospital Society (DKG) warned that two-thirds of clinics expected to make a loss in 2020 and request a government bailout.
As the political manhandling of the pandemic risked the lives of everyone, those who needed both outpatient and overnight stays for non-covid illnesses were forced to cancel or postpone their treatment. This lead to a suspected increase in deaths for those suffering from serious illnesses as well as a loss of revenue for those hospitals and clinics who were designated to treat them.
The Financial losses were apparently created by a "reluctance among patients to plan operations, (the implementation of) necessary protective measures and increased hygiene requirements, along with increasing capacities for corona patients in the intensive care units," DKG said in a statement.
The financial shortfall could impact the estimated 1.2 million employees, including more than 185,000 doctors and 400,000 nurses.
"If the federal government does not significantly increase aid, nationwide clinics will no longer be able to pay their employees' salaries in the first quarter of 2021," said the president of the Hospital Society, Gerald Gass, in an interview with the German Editorial Network on Tuesday.
"The money from standard hospital care operations is missing."
The DKG states that hospital revenue has halved due to the pandemic, falling from EUR 6 billion in 2019 to EUR 3 billion in 2020.
"Hospitals are facing an uncertain future. We fear that the developments from the first wave will continue to intensify during the second wave," Mr Gass said.
Photo by Martha Dominguez de Gouveia