Fewer and fewer doctors with sufficient language skills at clinics
A stay in the hospital is usually associated with many inconveniences - no patient wishes to have communication problems with the specialist staff. However, according to the Berlin Chamber of Physicians, this is precisely what is happening more and more, because while the German-speaking physicians had to write the reports, foreign colleagues would take over the patient work - often, however, without being able to speak German.
Patients and chief physicians criticize the Berlin Medical Association
Of course, misunderstandings and problems are inevitable: According to Günther Jonitz, the president of the Berlin Medical Association, more and more complaints would come from patients who complain about difficulties in communicating with their treating doctor. For example, it could happen that those affected “[…] did not find a doctor who speaks German during their one-week stay in hospital,” said Jonitz. Criticism is also increasingly coming from chief physicians who would regret the lack of exchange with colleagues. According to Jonitz, one could assume that only about a third of the medical profession could speak German without any problems.
More and more German doctors are going abroad The situation is not new, however, because unfavorable working conditions in the healthcare sector have long ceased to be a secret and, according to Jonitz, the cause of the lack of German-speaking doctors. Because especially in hospitals, the workload and stress levels are usually extremely high, the financial remuneration, on the other hand, is often relatively low and the image of the doctor is not always the best in Germany either. Therefore, according to Günther Jonitz, more and more doctors trained in Germany would go abroad: "Whoever can, goes away, goes to other countries and works where he is considered a doctor or a nurse."
Foreign doctors take care of it. Of course, the missing doctors in this country have to be replaced to ensure adequate care. According to the President of the Berlin Medical Association, the vacancies would mostly be filled with foreign doctors - who in turn came from countries in which there were even more serious problems with the health system. They would hardly have a breather here, instead they go straight to work: "Many start with a 70-hour week, there is no time for a language course."
In addition to the linguistic problem, Günther Jonitz sees another difficulty that could arise from the use of foreign doctors: Arab doctors who come from very wealthy countries run the risk that work in local hospitals is not serious enough due to a lower work ethic could be taken - of course with the reference that this is in no way meant to be generalized.
Protesting patients In any case, the situation seems to be quite serious for the patients: According to Jonitz, more and more affected people would protest openly and discontinue their current treatment due to communication difficulties. For example, complaints were made about a rehabilitation clinic in which there was only one medical doctor for the treatments, but she could hardly speak German. The lack of language skills would increase Jonitz's risk of treatment errors - hence his demands: On the one hand, politics must ensure that working conditions for medical professionals in Germany are improved. On the other hand, there has to be a clear framework for foreign specialists: “Doctors who come to us have to take a binding, paid six-month language course, as is common in Sweden. If we wait even longer, there are deaths due to incorrect translations… ”(sb)
Lack of knowledge of German by doctors in clinics