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Photo: Vasily Pindyurin / Westend61 / IMAGO

In view of the rising number of infections, the Association of General Practitioners has called for a faster reintroduction of sick leave by telephone. It is incomprehensible that this has not yet happened, said the federal chairman of the Association of General Practitioners, Markus Beier, to the editorial network Germany. From his point of view, sick leave by telephone would have been an urgently needed relief for family doctors' practices as early as this winter.

A law passed by the Bundestag in the summer by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) stipulates that sick leave by telephone should become permanently possible. The scheme was introduced during the coronavirus pandemic and initially expired in April.

The aim of the new regulation is to make it possible to take sick leave for an acute illness for the first time not only in the practice and via video consultation, but also by telephone. The Federal Joint Committee is to draw up a guideline for this by the end of January, according to the Federal Government's website.

According to Beier, general practitioners and their practice teams are already working at full speed to care for all patients. In many places, however, it is becoming increasingly difficult to cope with the onslaught. This is not only due to the current wave of infections, but above all to do with a lack of family doctors. Beier lacked backing from those responsible in politics.