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German doctors claim shorter working hours threaten patient care

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 25 May 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1240
  1. Annette Tuffs
  1. Heidelberg

    Shorter working hours for doctors, as set out by the German government in a 1994 law but only now being fully enforced, would be a severe disadvantage to patients and to doctors themselves, claim junior surgeons from Hanover Medical School.

    The Hanover surgeons are protesting at the working time law (Arbeitszeitgesetz), which demands restriction of their working time to 48 hours a week, followed by a rest of at least 12 hours, and includes audits from state officials. From 1 July medical directors and consultants will have to pay considerable punitive fees if their junior or senior …

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