Covid station with ventilated patients at Leipzig University Hospital
Photo: Waltraud Grubitzsch / dpa
The federal government has no information about what the federal states are doing with the ventilators procured by the federal government.
"From the time of delivery or the transfer of risk, this is the responsibility of the respective country," says the answer to a small request from several federal members of the FDP.
4836 devices were distributed to the 16 federal states.
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, there was fear that not enough ventilators would be available for people seriously ill with Covid-19. As a result, last year the federal government concluded contracts with six manufacturers, including Drägerwerk and Löwenstein, for the purchase of 26,281 ventilators. 14,205 of the devices ordered could still be canceled when it became clear that the large number of them were not needed. The Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) speaks of 13,738 devices delivered and describes the delivery as "completed" in March 2021.
The total order volume was around 241 million euros - this includes an "option premium" which enables the BMG to have large quantities of ventilators for intensive care units supplied by one manufacturer if necessary.
Some devices that have not gone to the federal states could become part of the National Health Protection Reserve, where they are stored in case of a crisis.
Although this has been discussed for more than a year, the federal government still speaks of "considerations".
1435 respirators have been donated to "EU member states, third countries and international organizations".
Another free delivery of a larger amount of ventilators to the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) is being prepared.
As early as March 2020, the head of the medical technology group Drägerwerk, Stefan Dräger, called for rapid clarification in the distribution of the 10,000 ventilators ordered by Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU). In spite of all the need, one must now ensure that the resources are distributed in the best possible way. Centers that can treat ARDS patients - that is, those with acute lung failure - should be given preference, also in order to prevent hospitals from "getting super equipment for little money that they cannot use at all," he said at the time MIRRORS.