Karl Lauterbach will den Rettungsdienst reformieren

HHelicopters are always eye-catching, especially rescue helicopters. Politicians love events involving these aircraft, as long as they don’t mess up their hair. On Thursday in Berlin, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) took advantage of the backdrop of the ADAC air rescue to visually present his plans for reforming the emergency medical service. The formerly divided capital has, as often is the case, a special story to offer. When the helicopter Christoph 31 was put into service in the western part of the city in 1987, only aircraft of the Allies were allowed to fly there. Although the helicopter was financed by the ADAC, it carried American flags and license plates and was flown by US pilots.

Since reunification, the „yellow angel“ has been buzzing across the entire city area. According to the air rescue service, it responds to 2000 emergencies annually, which is a world record. It is said that from the decision to intervene to takeoff, only two minutes usually pass. Doctors are flown to the scene of the accident, and the injured are taken to a suitable hospital. The time saved by flying in a straight line without traffic congestion is immense; the yellow aircraft can travel at over 200 kilometers per hour.

Lauterbach also focuses on speed and efficient operations with his reform. The basis of the ideas is a statement from the government commission on hospital reform, which on Thursday made recommendations for reorganizing emergency and acute care under the heading „Emergency Services and Financing“. In it, the experts demand uniform guidelines for the organization, scope of services, quality, and payment of emergency services.

„I cannot reword“

The dilemma behind this is that emergency services are often called without reason and overcrowded, that the services offered and their quality are inconsistent, that competencies are unnecessarily limited, and that the billing system provides wrong incentives. „Our emergency services urgently need reform and clear structures: uniform standards, more authorities, a meaningful reimbursement system,“ said Lauterbach. „In case of emergency, the emergency services must provide quick and precise assistance,“ added the minister. „Emergency care should no longer be a case in need of reform itself.“

According to the experts, the entitlement to benefits should be included as a separate regulation in Social Code V. There should be requirements for qualifications, further education, minimum staffing levels, and emergency equipment. Cross-regional standards should be implemented, as well as an emergency care registry and a real-time overview of available resources. The federal states must streamline coordination, with one control center responsible for every one million inhabitants.

Notfallsanitätern will man das Recht geben, Medikamente zu verabreichen und invasiv zu arbeiten, besonders ausgebildete „Paramedics“ dürften den Notarzt ersetzen. Dieser soll sich um komplexe Fälle kümmern. Auf dem Land will man die Luftrettung ausbauen, mit mehr Landemöglichkeiten und Nachtbetrieb.

Um die Gesundheitskompetenz zu erhöhen, sollen Erste-Hilfe-Kurse am Arbeitsplatz und in Schulen verpflichtend werden. Wie in anderen Ländern wünscht man sich flächendeckend verfügbare öffentliche Defibrillatoren. Die Krankenkassen müssten die Leitstelle, die Notfallversorgung, den Transport und die pflegerische Nachversorgung bezahlen. Die Rettungsdienstvergütung soll aus einem Vorhalte- und einem Leistungsanteil bestehen.