Germany’s Measures to Fight Corona:
Digitizing Health Services & Ensuring Best Medical Practices
German Hospitals Welcome Patients from Italy, France & the Netherlands
With coronavirus taking lives and shaking economies around the world, Germany proves its ability to effectively manage the pandemic crises. Ranked among the best countries in health care services, the federal government spends 11% of the GDP (376 Billion Euros) in its health sector. 88% of the population - 83 million citizens - benefit from the public health scheme while the rest have private health insurance. With the current challenge to flatten the curve and reduce the rates of infection, German hospitals were well prepared to deal with a large number of Covid-19 patients as shows the data.
Facts & Medical Readiness
Compared to many EU countries, Germany has the highest density of hospitals. 497 thousand hospital beds are available across the country for general and acute care. Based on an OECD report, the rates ICU beds are 34 per 100 thousand citizens Which is the highest all over Europe. This preparedness limited overcrowding of ICU beds in hospitals.
German medical companies were also involved in crisis management of the pandemic. In a few weeks, the companies produced thousands of medical equipment for hospitals and intensive care units to raise the total number of ICU beds from 28 thousand to 40 thousand units. To avoid any shortage of ventilators, companies produced thousands of equipment to reach a total number of 30 thousand units prepared to rescue severe cases of corona.
The federal government took also further preventive measures to fight the pandemic such as social-distancing regulations, testing and publishing regular reports about the spread of the disease, and the updates of clinical trials on drugs and Covid-19 vaccines.
Welcoming EU Patients
With such successful strategies, Germany is able to treat Covid19 patients and dedicate some of its medical staff and ICU units for patients from neighboring countries. This support helped the Netherlands to use some of their intensive care units to treat patients with other diseases than Covid-19. In addition, Germany provided an airbus flight to transfer patients in critical conditions from Lombardy (Italy) and Alsace (France) to be treated in German hospitals. It is to be noted that annually, 20 million patients - including 255 thousand international cases- are treated in German hospitals.
Digitizing Medical Services
As more citizens are staying at home, many patients in Germany are relying on online consultation giving the chance of physical exams to severe cases. This new approach comes as a result of the federal government's new laws to digitalize the health system and provide access to online medical consultancy via phone calls or mobile apps. Among the new technological services, A German startup launched a chatbot to help patients at home identify whether the symptoms they are feeling are flu or coronavirus.
Professor Jörg Debatin, head of the Health Innovation Hub (hih) explains:“ telemedicine services can support medical workers in what they do as well as provide patients with reliable information regarding COVID-19.”
By implementing digital services, doctors are more focused on saving lives. It is also ensuring social distancing measures and reducing the chances of viral infection.