German doctors pose naked to protest lack of safety equipment

German doctors pose naked to protest lack of safety equipment

A group of German doctors have come up with an unusual and eye-catching way to draw attention to shortages in protective clothing and equipment during the ongoing coronavirus crisis: posing naked.

Blanke Bedenken sends a message

A website named Blanke Bedenken (Naked Qualms), has been collecting images of doctors posing nude in their practices, taking cover behind items such as files, toilet rolls, stethoscopes and prescription blocks. The protestors claim to have drawn inspiration from Alain Colombié, a French doctor who recently carried out a similar protest in France. 

“The nudity is a symbol of how vulnerable we are without protection,” said Robert Bernau, one of the protesting doctors. He emphasised that he and his practice team are insufficiently equipped to deal with the virus. Other members of the group said that they felt at risk and that their calls for help had gone unheeded for several months.

Shortage of protective equipment in Germany

The ongoing coronavirus crisis has put an immense amount of pressure on global supply chains as countries all around the world battle to adequately equip their healthcare systems. Despite upping their production capacities, German companies that make protective equipment have been unable to meet demand, leaving medical practices, clinics and care homes short of badly-needed filter masks, goggles, gloves and aprons. 

Demand has skyrocketed to such an extent that a black market for these kinds of goods has opened up. Many hospitals in Germany have had to increase security on disinfectant products and masks, after a spate of thefts that police are attributing to organised criminal gangs. Europol recently warned about an upsurge in counterfeit or faulty goods circulating on the market. 

While the demand has differed from region to region – with North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria among the most in need – there have been numerous calls for the German government to support a structured increase in the domestic production of protective equipment.

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Naina Pottamkulam


Naina Pottamkulam



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