Due to the increasing incidence of the diseases, it is foreseeable that nursing staff will also be more affected by Covid-19. A massive expansion of tests for nursing staff, but also for persons in care especially those in nursing homes is urgently needed in order to separate the affected persons in time.
Another topic that is being worked on at full speed is the entry point for 24-hour care workers. About 33,000 people in need of long-term care in Austria are dependent on their deployment. This crisis shows Austria's dependence on foreign care workers who provide care for those in need of long-term care in Austria at low hourly wages.
If no satisfactory solution can be found with the countries of origin but also with the countries through which people travel (above all Romania, Slovakia and Hungary), alternative solutions must be worked out. The same applies if relatives providing care are no longer able to provide care due to Covid-19 disease. This can be an expansion of mobile services (in case this is possible in terms of personnel), but also alternative care quarters for persons in need of care who can no longer be cared for by 24-hour care or by their own family. If such alternative solutions have been found, then ongoing testing is of utmost importance due to the spatial concentration of highly vulnerable persons. Making 100 million available for emergency care is an important step by the Austrian federal government. The same applies to the flexible handling of the funding for 24-hour care.
Furthermore, it is necessary to recruit "replacement staff" for the care sector. These can be in addition to the already "extended" and "recalled" civilian servicemen persons who have been dismissed by the developments of the last 10 days or will be dismissed in the near future. From this reservoir, the PES should specifically address persons in cooperation with care service providers. An analysis of the data on unemployed persons as of the end of February 2020 also shows a small reservoir of persons who were unemployed as of the end of February and indicate nursing professions as their career aspiration. These persons must also be specifically addressed. A simplification of bureaucracy, the applicable standards and a reduction in documentation requirements will probably be necessary during the Corona Crisis in order to maintain the system of long-term care provision.
The Corona Crisis also highlights two problems in the organisation of long-term care provision in Austria: the lack of an
interlinking of health and long-term care and the complexity of the care system with divergent financing and task responsibilities
of the various local authorities. In a subsequent long-term care reform, unbundling will be required here, which will make
financing from a single source possible. Better coordination between the state units or local authorities involved
i.e. between those who can determine the rules in the care sector and those who are responsible for its implementation and,
in part, for its financing is a prerequisite for sustainable financing of care.