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In the middle of the corona crisis: Spahn authorities are missing over 100 IT experts

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn. (Photo: photocosmos1 / Shutterstock)

In the middle of the corona crisis, the authorities responsible for combating it lack IT experts. The opposition’s criticism: The federal government did not take infection protection seriously.

As early as 2018, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), which is subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Health, had a need for 101 additional positions related to information technology. However, the Federal Government and the Bundestag did not react sufficiently. Only six IT positions are said to have been created since then. Of the 68 IT positions applied for by the RKI for 2021, only four were approved. According to a response from the federal government to a so-called small inquiry from the Left Group, the problem is even bigger than previously thought.

Lack of IT experts in authorities

According to this, in the years 2017 to 2019 in many authorities of the Health Minister Jens Spahn external examinations are to be carried out Consultants have each identified a significant shortage of staff, as reported by Welt am Sonntag (doublet). The newspaper has the answer from the federal government to the left inquiry. Accordingly, there should be a lack of IT experts – and not just at the RKI. Further missing positions at the Paul Ehrlich Institute and the Federal Center for Health Education should not have been created so far.

The German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information, which has now been dissolved and now belongs to the Federal Office for Drugs and Medical Devices, is said to be missing 39 IT employees. Outside of the IT departments, too, there is apparently a lack of employees in the authorities that are important in combating the current corona pandemic. For the Paul Ehrlich Institute, which is responsible for vaccines and biomedical drugs, the above-mentioned experts calculated an additional need for 104 full-time positions for normal operations. According to the report of the doublet, only 19 of these have been created so far.

Opposition demands end of underfunding

For the opposition politician Jan Korte, Parliamentary Managing Director of the Left in the Bundestag, this is a sign that the federal government has a functioning RKI before the pandemic was not particularly important. The government, according to Korte, took protection against infection lightly, as the doublet quotes the left-wing politician. Korte’s conclusion: “The structural underfunding of authorities and the health and social system must end”.

The The federal government defends itself by referring to a general increase in positions in the RKI. In addition, a new center for artificial intelligence is to be built, which will be part of the RKI. However, according to the RKI, there have not yet been any tenders for corresponding personnel, and there is still no date for the opening of the KI center. In addition, a report is in progress in which “proposals for the legal, infrastructural and personnel strengthening of the Robert Koch Institute” are to be made, as the jerkin writes.

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