Madrid Desk, Sep 5 (efe-epa).- Germany on Saturday announced a four-billion-euro investment in its public health service, as Britain urged civil servants to go back to their offices after months of working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It came as former Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi was reported to be in a stable condition in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19 and France saw selective school closures during the first week of the new academic year.
The government announced it will allocate four billion euros to strengthen public health over the next six years, which will be invested in recruiting more staff, digitalization and development of sustainable systems.
Health minister Jens Spahn said the move will create at least 1,500 new jobs by the end of 2021.
The goal is to have at least 5,000 new doctors, qualified personnel and administrative staff in public health by the end of 2022, for which more than three billion euros will be allocated, he added.
Another 800 million of the package will be invested in digitalization to develop interconnected systems for health departments.
Around 50 million will be spent on special equipment at the country’s international airports and ports.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised health workers in a video message on Saturday and highlighted the importance of strengthening public services in the long term.
“If our country has survived the coronavirus pandemic proportionally well, if the number of infections has not reached the dimensions that we have observed in other countries, it has to do with what public health services do on a daily basis,” she said.