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Doctors in Germany can once again grant sick leave via the phone

Doctors in Germany can once again grant sick leave via the phone

Doctors in Germany can once again grant sick leave via the phone

During the first peak of the coronavirus pandemic back in March, doctors in Germany were given special permission to grant sick leave over the phone. Now, with infection numbers rising rapidly once again, the special regulation has been brought back into force. It will initially apply until the end of the year. 

Reducing risk of infection with phone appointments

As of Monday, October 19, doctors in Germany can once again grant sick leave via the phone - as long as the patient is presenting with typical cold symptoms. The regulation - which was approved by the Federal Joint Committee last week - is designed to avoid full waiting rooms and therefore minimise the risk of infection. 

Under the reintroduced system, anyone experiencing respiratory problems or even typical cold or flu-like symptoms can telephone their doctor, who will conduct a detailed interview to determine the severity of their condition. They will then be able to grant sick leave for up to seven days. Patients can also apply for a one-time extension, via telephone, to receive sick leave for an additional seven days. 

Both coronavirus cases and flu infections rising

“We are currently experiencing an accelerating rate of infection with the COVID-19 virus, but at the same time more and more flu infections,” said Professor Josef Hecken, chairperson of the Federal Joint Committee. 

“This parallel development is worrying. We absolutely have to interrupt it without patient care suffering as a result. If there’s one thing we don’t need in this serious situation, it’s full waiting rooms.” 

Abi

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Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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