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Employment law change stuns German hospitals:

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

A law passed at the end of September by the German Bundestag (Lower House) is causing panic amongst hospitals. The amendment to the employment law, which implements a European Court ruling, ensures that doctors' on-call time is paid as normal working hours. Burghard Rocke, president of the German hospitals association (DKG) claims that this will cost hospitals an extra E3.35bn ($3.9bn) per year. This is because doctors would be required to work a maximum of 10 hours per day with the result that hospitals would have to employ more doctors to keep up with the workload. The Marburger Bund hospital staff association estimates that hospitals will need to employ 15,000 more doctors but that this will not be possible in the short term as there are only 6,300 unemployed doctors in Germany.

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