The corona pandemic has made the importance of a functioning health system and committed employees clear and has brought their working conditions into the focus of politics and the public.

Nevertheless, nothing has changed in the dissatisfaction of the medical staff, as a new survey by the doctors' union Marburger Bund (MB) shows.

On the contrary: a quarter of employed doctors are now thinking of giving up their profession.

In the last survey three years ago, it was just over a fifth.

Most of the nearly 8,500 participants this time work in hospitals.

Six percent work in outpatient facilities and generally assess their situation somewhat better.

Christian Geinitz

Business correspondent in Berlin

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Above all, the working hours with a lot of overtime and on-call services generate resentment.

According to the doctors, the actual working hours – not those on paper – average 50 hours a week;

one fifth works 60 hours or more.

Nine out of ten respondents would like a maximum of 48 hours.

The collective agreement in municipal clinics normally provides for 40.

In order to work less, more and more doctors switched to part-time work, writes the union.

That is now 31 percent compared to 26 percent in 2019. But even for this group, the following applies: “By working part-time, employees often only ensure that they regularly have at least one day off a week.”

Three hours of bureaucracy a day

Every employed doctor works an average of six hours of overtime per week, with almost every fifth person doing ten to nineteen hours.

Half get time off in lieu, a quarter remuneration, but another quarter get nothing, according to the Marburger Bund: "The hospitals therefore benefit to a not insignificant extent every day from the unpaid work of thousands of doctors." It is positively noted that the electronic timekeeping has increased compared to 2019;

nevertheless, it covers less than half of the cases.

The situation is significantly better in municipal houses, which the union attributes to their collective bargaining efforts.

The survey also reflects the lack of staff.

A third of those surveyed observed job cuts during the two years of the pandemic.

In private clinics, more than half expressed themselves in this direction.

Two-thirds described staffing in the medical service as bad or “rather bad”.

With more than two-thirds, it looked particularly unfortunate under private sponsorship.

Documentation and digitization take up a lot of space in the survey.

On average, every doctor needs three hours a day for administrative tasks such as data collection.

According to the MB, parts of this work could also be done by station secretariats or clerical services.

Where there is this support, the doctors have "more time for their actual tasks in patient care".

Better equipment with information technology (IT) would be helpful, but this left a lot to be desired in the majority of the houses.

"I'm actually a doctor out of passion"

The so-called "MB Monitor 2022", which the Institute for Quality Measurement and Evaluation created for the union, surveyed its members for the first time on their satisfaction with the IT equipment at the workplace.

Two thirds were dissatisfied or “rather dissatisfied”.

In the outpatient facilities, however, more than half of the doctors are satisfied.

A majority of all those surveyed rated the degree of digitization as low or “rather low”.

When it comes to purchasing new programs, medical requirements are usually ignored.

The applications don't seem to run particularly efficiently, because in 80 percent of the cases identical data has to be entered frequently or occasionally more than once.

Almost three quarters of the respondents do not receive any IT training.

However, at least two thirds are satisfied with the data security, for example with the protection against cyber attacks.

A large majority of the evaluation participants consider climate protection in the workplace to be important.

However, concrete steps for this only appear in individual examples, such as replacing anesthetic gases in anesthesia, which damage the ozone layer.

The savings potential is immense, since there is a lot of unnecessary disposable material on the wards and because many energy-intensive devices run continuously, for example in radiology.

The medical professionals surveyed in May and June, half of whom were aged up to 40, made extensive use of free text information from daily practice.

In one case it says: "I'm actually a passionate doctor, but under these conditions I can no longer and don't want to work as a doctor." The work is not appreciated, the excessive pressure made her and other colleagues sick: "And what gets you constantly hear?

'You're a doctor and you have to put up with it.'

No, you don't have to!"