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They are a collective of hospital employees from all over Germany who, motivated by their own work experiences, can no longer remain silent. They are united by the desire to fundamentally change the healthcare system in order to finally meet high professional standards and the needs of our patients again. They fight for an upgrading of caring professions and against profits being made from health.

Why they break the silence

The personnel shortage and the resulting danger to patients are repeatedly the subject of media reports and conversations among employees at German clinics.

Unimaginable scenes take place every day. From newborns who fall into life because there is no midwife to catch them, to patients who cannot be stopped from taking their own lives in the hospital because their colleagues are working to the limit, to People who die unnoticed in waiting rooms.

For seven years, emancipatory hospital movements that identify and fight against these grievances in the healthcare system have become increasingly stronger.

You are part of these movements and have experienced their power. Using strikes and other tools of industrial action, together with their union ver.di, they have achieved concrete successes at over 20 university hospitals: in the form of improved staffing, actual consequences for employers if these are not met, and in the form of free time to relieve the burden Staff.

Her own experiences motivated her to become part of the hospital movement. For years they have experienced the structural grievances caused by politics. You have seen what the profit logic in hospitals does to the well-being and health of patients and what it means to be completely overwhelmed and have to “put out fires” instead of being able to do good work. Changing the existing system is urgently needed; the care of patients and the working conditions in the hospital cannot be separated. Those who have a good environment can work better, those who are in a good environment get better faster.

They have collected reports, written experiences that make clear the drastic consequences of the staffing shortage for the care of patients: the Black Book Hospital. During union strikes, we used these reports to highlight grievances. They support their demands for more staff and relief to employers, representatives of politics, the media and the population in general.

Hundreds of reports show that these are not exceptions, but rather part of everyday life for employees and patients in German hospitals. Many colleagues wrote down their experiences without having to think for long. They shared the reports with each other and learned that we did not experience individual unfortunate, one-off situations, but that they all had similar experiences. The more reports that have come together, the more clear it has become that they can no longer stand by.

They are breaking the silence because they are no longer willing to maintain a broken system, risk their health and further endanger patients.

The exemplary experiences they have compiled here are of importance for society as a whole. They affect people from every social class of society, every gender and every age group. The experiences are a topic of public interest because it is about whether we, our loved ones, our children or parents can recover and participate in life again or whether they fall victim to this broken system and, in the worst case, lose their lives.

Decades of poor health policy cannot be balanced out and replaced by something new in a few industrial disputes, but a shared awareness of the problems and a solidarity-based approach can create a united strength and bring them a lot closer to a shared goal: a health system that puts people at the center provides.

In this brochure they report on the extent of the abuses and look at how political decisions over four decades have led to people leaving the healthcare sector.

They want to share 30 reports that provide insight into the everyday atrocities in German hospitals.

In addition, they spoke to Anja Vogt, intensive care nurse at the Vivantes Clinic in Berlin, about the problems that the flat rate system has brought with it, and they look at the options that employees have to take action against these fatal political decisions. 

They spoke to labor lawyer Daniel Weidmann about the legal background and the question: “Am I allowed to do that?”

They want to show how everyone can use their own experiences to join the fight.

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