Improvements for nursing staff and care patients

Wages according to tariff, more responsibility, more relief Improvements for nursing staff and care patients

Nursing care in Germany is to be improved – for patients, relatives who provide care and nursing staff. Because the pandemic in particular has made it clear once again: "Structural changes are required," said Health Minister Spahn regarding the nursing care reform, which was decided in the Cabinet on Wednesday.

Photo shows a nurse and a care patient

Pay according to tariff: as of 1 September 2022, nursing care contracts may only be concluded with the nursing care insurance funds if care facilities for the elderly pay their nursing staff based on collective tariff agreements, or at a corresponding level.

Photo: picture alliance / Fotostand

Nursing care in Germany is to be improved. For this purpose, the Federal Government has set in place regulations that ensure, among other things, regular pay according to tariff. "More than 500,000 nursing staff for the elderly will now benefit from this, who have previously not been paid according to tariff," said the Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Hubertus Heil. After all, nursing staff not only deserve "recognition and applause, but also fair wages and working conditions."

Relief increases according to length of nursing care

In addition, framework conditions are being created which, on the one hand, create more responsibility for nursing staff, and on the other hand, provide more relief. "We are reducing the burden on care patients and their families by around three billion euros. In order to particularly help those who need long-term nursing care, the relief increases according to the length of nursing care required," said Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn.

The intended provisions include:

  • As of 1 September 2022, nursing care contracts may only be concluded with the nursing care insurance funds if care facilities for the elderly pay their nursing staff based on collective tariff agreements, or at least at a corresponding level.
  • In order to relieve the burden of increasing co-payments for care in nursing homes, patients are to receive additional payments from the nursing care insurance funds from 1 January 2022. The amount of the additional payments is staggered and limited according to the duration of care of the patient in the nursing home.
  • Nursing staff should be able to make more decisions in future, for example on the prescription of care aids and regarding nursing care at home.
  • Also, staff assessments will be further implemented, for more binding staffing levels in the nursing homes. This means more relief through more jobs.
  • The flat-rate contribution of the statutory health insurance companies to the costs of medical care in residential nursing homes should be made permanent.
  • In addition, short-term nursing care should be strengthened, and a new service of transitional nursing care in hospital will be introduced.

To finance these measures, a flat-rate federal subsidy of one billion euros will be introduced, and the premium surcharge for those without children will be raised by 0.1 percentage points.

But it's not just about nursing care. The Cabinet has also decided that the additional federal contribution to the statutory health insurance companies should be increased by seven billion euros in 2022. This should stabilise social security contributions at less than 40 percent in 2022.

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