It is a lesson from the corona pandemic: In order to avoid shortages in protective equipment, drugs or medical devices in the future, the federal government wants to set up 19 warehouses with important materials.
As a consequence of the Corona crisis, the federal government wants to build up a national health reserve in Germany with important material such as protective masks. “This pandemic teaches us that we have to take more precautions,” said Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn of the dpa news agency. Warehouses are to be built at a total of 19 locations. The Corona cabinet should deal with the plans today.
According to this, the reserve is to be filled primarily with masks that have already been procured by the end of 2021, then with material from domestic production. The needs of the health system and the federal government are to be kept permanently available for one month. The reserve should essentially consist of protective equipment, protective masks, ventilators and medication, explained Spahn. “In an emergency, we particularly support those who work in hospitals, nursing homes and medical practices. Good health care should not fail because of the material.”
At the beginning of June, the federal government decided in principle to set up a “National Health Protection Reserve” and commissioned the ministries involved with a concept. The background is also that protective masks and other material were scarce at the beginning of the Corona crisis in spring. The federal government then went into procurement and decided on incentives for domestic manufacturers. Medical facilities and the federal states should primarily continue to hold their own reserves before federal inventories are accessed.
The proposal states that materials from the national health reserve should in principle be available on a decentralized basis. For the first phase, 16 regional locations are currently planned by the federal government via logistics companies: Apfelstädt, Augsburg, Bergkamen, Biblis, Crailsheim, Dortmund, Emmerich, Euskirchen, Halle, Hamburg, Ibbenbüren, Kabelsketal, Krefeld, Langenhagen, Neuss, Unna. In addition, there are storage areas rented by the federal government for hand disinfectants in Neustadt, Muggensturm and Krefeld. The federal reserve should be compatible with state reserves, and cooperation should also be discussed.
Need for up to six months
Specifically, the reserve should procure and store certain quantities, but also secure delivery options and production capacities. Such a combination should be able to cover the requirements for up to six months – a minimum supply for one month should always be physically available. In addition to supplying the health sector and the federal government, humanitarian aid with protective equipment should also be made possible for the World Health Organization (WHO) and other countries, according to the proposal.