The purest impertinence. That’s what the mother Mona S. calls the current pediatric care in the district of Ebersberg. Although she currently has a doctor for her two children. However, it is uncertain what that will look like from mid-March onwards. Then the department for children and young people will close under the umbrella of the “Family Practice” in Kirchseeon – and Mona S., who actually has a different name, will initially be without a pediatrician, like so many other mothers and fathers. Bad timing when you consider that almost all other pediatric practices in the Ebersberg district can no longer accept new patients: the limit of what is affordable in terms of medical care has long been reached there. So what’s next?
Ulrike Seidel and Veronika Spranger have shared this office since the pediatric practice opened in Kirchseeon a good two years ago. Their practice is part of a family practice that offers pediatric and general medical services for adults. Mona S. says that she was very happy when the practice opened – she and her children felt very comfortable there, “and I heard that from everyone”. It was probably also the concept of a family practice that was well received: with the child to the U4 and then just one door further to the spade in your own arm for a vaccination booster. Very convenient.
Affected are patients who were previously cared for by Ulrike Seidel
Ulrike Seidel will now give up part of her job in Kirchseeon. Half the seat of her colleague Veronika Spranger will remain in the district. Patients who have been mainly cared for by her so far could move with her to the new place of action, she says. Seidel’s departure will not change anything for patients in general practice either. Only those children who were primarily treated by her are affected. On the phone, the doctor talks a lot at first, but then prefers not to be quoted.
It should also not be mentioned how many patients the Kirchseeon pediatric practice has been caring for so far. But with 22,718 children under the age of 15 (Status: 12/31/2021) and 10.5 pediatrician seats in the district, there can be quite a few – statistically, there are a little more than 216 children under the age of 15 for each seat.
It is currently unclear whether the half of the pediatrician’s position that will soon be vacant will be filled. Interested parties must first apply to the advertisement in the Bavarian State Gazette and then submit an application for employment or admission to the admissions committee for doctors in Upper Bavaria, as a spokesman for the Bavarian Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KVB) explains. The decision on the actual allocation is not in the hands of the KVB, but in those of the admissions committee, which is made up of representatives of the medical profession and health insurance companies.
Even if a successor is found, it is not certain that this will come to Kirchseeon
The KVB spokesman also said that the advisory center for the Upper Bavaria area is already in talks with interested parties and that they are “optimistic” that they will be able to fill the seat. In that case, however, it would still be questionable whether he would come back to Kirchseeon, because as self-employed doctors are free to decide where they want to settle within a planning area, i.e. the entire district. In any case, according to the KVB spokesman, the seat would only expire if no successor was found at all.
If this were to happen, there would still be more pediatricians working in the district than is actually necessary, because there is currently a lot of noise KVB supply atlas with 10.5 seats, an oversupply of 112.24 percent. Accordingly, with ten seats, the degree of coverage would be 106.69 percent.
But if you ask around, the reality is that there are anything but too many doctors. One would feel the undersupply every day, says a pediatrician. “If I can’t get an appointment with a pediatrician, then that’s not an oversupply,” says mother Mona S., “often the practices are so busy that not even anyone answers the phone.” And: “We are overflowing,” says another pediatrician.
The basis for the assessment of needs is based on how many children and adolescents a pediatrician is intended to care for. This is a national one policy, which is determined by the Federal Joint Committee. At the municipal level, hardly anything can be changed in terms of medical care. Kirchseeon’s Mayor Jan Paeplow calls this fact “frustrating”. “We regret to say that our hands are tied.”