Fever clinics for the cold season?

Due to increasing Covid-19 infections, Health Minister Jens Spahn is calling for fever clinics to be set up nationwide. From the point of view of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, this makes only limited sense

If you have a cough, sore throat and fever, go to a special fever clinic instead of the general practitioner? If Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn has his way, this should become a reality more often in the cold season. "In autumn we need regional and local so-called fever clinics to which patients with classic respiratory symptoms such as corona and flu can turn," he told the "Rheinische Post". "I am confident that the statutory health insurance associations will offer such central contact points on site. Conceptually, they already exist - ideally they should be accessible across the board in autumn."

Jens Spahn wants to slow down the spread of Covid-19. The outpatient departments should be equipped as test centers. Jens Spahn's statement at the beginning of the week to use fever clinics across the board met with a mixed response. The National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV) considers the approach to be only conditionally sensible and relies on regionality. The medical association Marburger Bund supports the plans for fever clinics brought into play by Jens Spahn. They are "very useful", said chairwoman Susanne Johna of the "Passauer Neue Presse". "It is essential to avoid that patients with other illnesses shy away from going to the doctor or to the clinic. The clearer we pave the way for possible Covid-19 patients, the more likely others will dare to visit their family doctor again."

National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians: Practices are well positioned

The National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians made it clear that patients with infections can also be treated in normal practices despite the corona pandemic. "There are also fever consultations, for example, which have already been used and which family doctors, paediatricians and specialists can set up again at any time," said the deputy chairman of the KBV, Dr. Stephan Hofmeister.

"The establishment of independent Covid-19 facilities could be added as necessary and should be decided regionally in each case," said Hofmeister. In Berlin, for example, there are currently 30 such ambulances. "In coordination with the public health service, these facilities can also be operated by contract doctors or associations of statutory health insurance physicians on a voluntary basis," said KBV CEO Dr. Andreas Gassen. The prerequisite for this is that the financing and the supply of protective equipment are clarified.

Regionally limited Covid-19 exemptions

The KBV also relies on additional measures: If the number of infections increases, special measures such as waiting days - i.e. days on which you do not have to present a doctor's certificate - or the telephone sick leave certificate (certificate of incapacity for work, or AU certificate for short) can be introduced again at any time. Just last week, the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) stipulated which exemptions apply if the number of infections caused by the corona virus increases again in individual regions. New: The regulations such as the telephone AU, the waiting days, video treatments or follow-up ordinances for home nursing after telephone consultation will not apply nationwide, as at the beginning of the pandemic, but spatially limited - and limited in time.