NRW-Minsiter of Economic Affairs Garrelt Duin visits hsg

Discussion about skilled staff shortages and the Healthcare Campus NRW

NRW-Minister of Economic Affairs finds out about the hsg concept on site. In the photo from left: hsg-Vice Dean Prof. Dr. Nicola Bauer, NRW-Minister of Economic Affairs Garrelt Duin, hsg-President Prof. Dr. Anne Friedrichs, hsg-Vice President Prof. Dr. Ursula Walkenhorst and hsg-Vice-President Werner Brüning. Photo: hsg

North Rhine-Westphalia’s Minister for Economic, Energy and Industrial Affairs, Garrelt Duin, visited the healthcare university, Hochschule für Gesundheit (hsg), in Bochum on 12 June 2013. hsg president, Prof. Dr. Anne Friedrichs, described how the hsg could contribute to resolving the shortage of skilled staff in Germany. In her lecture Friedrichs discussed how requirements are changing in healthcare and what will be needed to cover future needs in healthcare. She also explained why academically educated employees are needed in the healthcare professions.

“Today, we can see how the mandate to provide care is becoming more complex, how the number of distinct profiles within individual professions are increasing, how specialized skills areas are being created and how new demands for inter-professionalism in healthcare provision are becoming apparent. Courses at the hsg are oriented to the skills profiles needed in the future, they are based on both practical and scientific orientations and offer inter-profession studies as a central component. We educate people within this context for real work with real patients”, said Friedrichs. Interdisciplinary care at the interfaces between the different healthcare professions to link the different sectors within the healthcare system is growing in significance.

Friedrich stressed that university qualifications and academization within healthcare professions are one answer, but not the only answer, to skilled staff shortages.

In the discussion which followed, the Minister of Economic Affairs, Duin, was also interested in the changing activities of healthcare professionals, in how hsg graduates handle the change-over from studying to working, and in support for students who want to become self-employed after they have graduated. At this point Friedrichs described the Career Services at the hsg which have already been set up successfully and to the establishment of a mentoring programme. The Federal Employment Agency in Bochum and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the Central Ruhr Region are already collaborating well on advising and supporting students who want to set up their own companies.

hsg Vice President Werner Brüning, who presented the latest status of construction and planning for the new hsg buildings on the Healthcare Campus North Rhine-Westphalia (GC NRW), discussed with the Minister the overall idea of the GC NRW in Bochum, for which the state government has planned a total investment of around 200 million Euros. The new hsg building and the events building, which are currently under construction on the GC NRW site and should be ready in the summer of 2014, account for 75 million Euros of this. Brüning said: “The Healthcare Campus NRW is to pay a decisive contribution to handling the challenges of high investment needs in the healthcare sector with a view to changing needs for care, shrinking numbers of skilled staff and to dealing with any imbalances in delivering care”.

Minister for Economic Affairs, Garrelt Duin, found out from the hsg committee about the status of negotiations between tariff partners regarding future pay-scales for hsg graduates and about the hsg’s regional networks – in particular within the healthcare sector.

The Minister then visited the hsg Skills Labs where students of ergo therapy, midwifery, speech therapy, nursing and physiotherapy can try out practical work and solutions in a controlled environment. Outpatient/casualty training and research, patient simulators and wheelchair accessible kitchens were all part of the guided tour. hsg Vice Dean, Prof. Dr. Nicola Bauer showed the Minister the new life-size, computer-controlled birth simulator and explained how it is used and its links to research.

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