In the course of climate change, heat waves are likely to become more frequent in the future. The Marburger Bund sees Germany as insufficiently prepared for this - and calls for a plan on how municipalities should react to the extreme weather. Awareness is also important.
In view of the expected weather conditions, the Marburger Bund medical association is calling for a national heat protection plan and an information campaign. "Politicians must significantly expand their efforts for protective measures in heat phases," said Susanne Johna, chairwoman of the editorial network Germany (RND).
Cities and municipalities need heat protection plans so that senior citizens' facilities or hospitals can better prepare for heat waves, "best regulated by a national heat protection plan". Concrete rules of conduct are also important, "for example through an information campaign by the Federal Center for Health Education". "Further training courses on heat-related illnesses, the storage of medicines at the right temperature" or "building adaptations" are necessary.
The Verdi union is demanding relief for employees. "In extreme heat, of course, we demand longer breaks or an earlier end of work - without heat - even if there is no legal entitlement," said Norbert Reuter, head of the collective bargaining policy department at Verdi, the RND. "Here, in consultation with the works council, regulations must be made as to when the lost working hours can be made up for if necessary." One demands to use "all possibilities" of flextime regulations for shifting working hours, as they are already recorded in the technical rules for workplaces (ASR).
The German hospital association (DKG) had previously warned of an increasing burden on hospitals and called for an investment program to adapt the hospital buildings to the heat. "If the record values that meteorologists are currently predicting really occur, we will have to reckon with a high number of heat-related hospital cases," said DKG CEO Gerald Gass to the RND.
In addition to dehydrated patients, Gass is also expecting people who suffer from cardiac arrhythmias, low blood pressure or sleep disorders. Gastrointestinal infections could also be aggravated by heat.