Berlin, December 29, 2023, The Europe Today: Thousands of German doctors’ offices and small clinics are staying shut this week — during a spike in COVID-19 and flu cases. General practitioners and specialists are protesting the government’s health policies, which they say are increasing costs, lowering earnings and burdening them with more and more bureaucracy.
Patients are being advised to rely on emergency medical services as more than 20 doctor associations have joined the three-day strike. Since January 1 is a public holiday in Germany, most of the participating practices won’t be open until January 2.
“I don’t understand why there is a strike,” said Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, speaking with public broadcaster ZDF on Wednesday evening. “We have a huge wave of sickness in the population at the moment. The doctors’ demands for more money are also well-known — this strike doesn’t get us anywhere.”