The provision of nursing services in Germany is increasingly reaching its limits due to staff shortages in hospitals, nursing homes and services. There are already 1.7 million workers there, which corresponds to five percent of all employees subject to social security contributions. Nevertheless, there are too few to meet increasing legal benefit claims and quality standards for more and more people in need of care – which sooner or later threatens to lead these very demands and standards ad absurdum.

Does it hurt that Foreign Minister Baerbock and Labor Minister Heil are recruiting nurses in Brazil? Probably not. According to the Patient Protection Foundation, 34 professional nurses from Brazil came here last year. Perhaps there will soon be a few dozen more. And perhaps the great attention paid to the ministerial trip will help to make Germany better known as an inviting destination for skilled workers.

If, however, the factual issues are sorted according to urgency, the ministers would be advised to travel to other destinations, including perhaps a municipal immigration office. Its staff could, for example, report on how much leeway they currently have to present themselves as inviting service providers for foreign skilled workers in addition to the procedures for asylum and refugee migration; and which, from their point of view, everyday problems in the offices need to be solved in order to improve this.

In addition, the wide field of care policy is worth a visit. There, the traffic light has just passed a reform law. However, this does not alleviate staff shortages, but rather expands contribution-financed benefits.

And then there is a flaw in the planned new Skilled Immigration Act: the SPD and the Greens strictly refuse to allow temporary employment agencies to recruit foreign skilled workers. If the government really wants to get more of them, it would be best to leave this task to professionals. She herself would then be able to concentrate entirely on the problems that no private service provider can solve.