Germany: Children’s clinics on the verge of collapse as the government acquires nuclear bombers

Germany is currently experiencing a wave of deaths from COVID-19 and other severe respiratory illnesses, bringing the country’s children’s hospitals to the brink of collapse. Just before Christmas, the German parliament decided that taxpayers’ money was better spent on purchasing nuclear bombers. The decision sheds light on the criminal policies of the ruling class.

On December 14, the Bundestag’s budget committee approved the purchase of 35 F-35 II combat aircraft for an amount of 10,000 million euros. On the same day, Europe’s largest university hospital, Charité, announced that it would go into emergency operation. The children’s wards were so overloaded that “for weeks doctors and nursing staff had to be withdrawn from normal wards to work in the children’s wards,” according to the Deutsche Welle (DW) media outlet. Despite “24/7 operation in all pediatric rescue units”, “care could no longer be guaranteed”, declared a Charité pediatrician.

According to a survey by the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), one in two hospitals in Germany has already had to turn away children for pediatric intensive care. In normal children’s wards, 43 of the 110 pediatric clinics did not have a single bed available and ventilators are also in short supply. In addition, children’s clinics are plagued by devastating staff shortages, meaning nearly 40 percent of pediatric intensive care beds cannot be operated. DW quotes a senior pediatric intensive care consultant in Hannover as saying: “Children are dying because we can no longer care for them.”

The war conditions in German children’s hospitals are the result of the government’s policy of waging war against Russia in the Ukraine and its conduct of class warfare against its own people at home to finance bloodshed.

Diakovere Hospital Henriettenstift in Hannover, Germany [Photo by Michał Beim / CC BY 4.0]

Each of the 35 stealth bombers, explicitly intended to deliver US nuclear weapons already stockpiled in Germany, could finance the complete rebuilding of a state-of-the-art children’s clinic. Instead, the ruling coalition of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Greens and the neoliberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), with the consent of all the opposition parties sitting in the Bundestag, has decided to cut the health budget by €40,000. million compared to last year, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Parliament also agreed to buy an additional 118,000 Heckler & Koch assault rifles.

The renowned Robert Koch Institute reports on its online resource “GrippeWeb” that the number of respiratory infections in Germany is already well above the seasonal level and threatens to rise further. The proportion of people with an acute respiratory illness (ARI) currently exceeds 11 percent, with a “clear upward trend.” This means that approximately one in nine people in Germany currently suffers from a respiratory infection. In 2021, the proportion of people with ARIs was just under 4 percent. The increase is the result of the lifting of the slightest protection measures against COVID-19.

The RKI assesses the situation as follows: “The current very high value even exceeds the maximum values ​​reached in previous large waves of flu.” The main causes of respiratory infections are influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which mainly affects infants and young children.

DIVI President Christian Karagiannidis is also very concerned about the current situation, stating: “I have never experienced anything like this before.” The chronic shortage of nurses is currently exacerbated by the high level of sick leave among healthcare workers.

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