For sick leave in case of a cold, a visit to the practice is necessary again
Die the telephone ones introduced during the corona crisis sick leave with mild colds are over. Patients have had to go back to the practice since Saturday if they need a certificate of incapacity for work. The possibility of telephone contact had been available almost continuously since March 2020 in order to avoid unnecessary contacts and corona infections.
The Federal Joint Committee Doctors, clinics and health insurance companies had extended a special regulation several times, most recently until March 31st. In view of the more relaxed pandemic situation, however, it has now expired.
Consumer advice centres, family doctors’ associations and health politicians have spoken out in favor of receiving sick notes by telephone in the long term. Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach made it clear that he thinks this makes sense. However, the SPD politician pointed out that the decision-making authority lies with the Federal Joint Committee. According to the minister, he would support it if the end of the regulation were reconsidered.
General practitioners and consumer advocates had called for the telephone sick note to be retained without a doctor’s visit. “To put it bluntly: it’s no longer possible without the phone sick note,” said the deputy head of the German Association of General Practitioners, Nicola Buhlinger-Göpfarth, the editorial network Germany (RND). This applies in particular to the acute waves of infection, as there were last winter. Without the possibility of sick leave by telephone, the family doctor’s practices came “more and more under pressure”.