Berlin offers a unique concentration of top-notch medical care. The city's 21 maternity clinics and six birthing houses perform outstanding work, delivering more than 30,000 babies each year.
Support for public health care is a top priority in Berlin. The Healthy City Initiative (Gesundheitsstadt Berlin e.V.), launched by the Berlin Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Industrie- und Handelskammer Berlin - IHK) and the Berlin Senate promotes preventive medicine and health promotion in order to meet growing public health needs.
Maternity and birth
More than 30,000 children are born each year in Berlin. Expecting mothers can choose from 21 maternity clinics and six birthing houses. In addition to the two Charité campuses (Mitte and Virchow Clinic), there are public, non-profit and private clinics. The obstetrics departments can be categorized according to their degree of specialization: Clinics with basic birthing care, clinics with a neonatal focus (care for newborns) and perinatal centers. The majority of these facilities get high marks for quality. The Berlin Senate Administration's current plan for hospitals with perinatal centers applies stricter criteria than those developed by the joint federal commission (Gemeinsamer Bundesausschuss).
For normal births, specialists recommend the DRK Clinic Westend most, followed by the Vivantes-Auguste-Viktoria-Clinic and the Vivantes-Clinic in Neukölln. For high-risk births, doctors most often recommended the Charité's specially equipped perinatal centers (Virchow Clinic and Mitte) and the Vivantes-Clinic Neukölln.
The six birthing houses are distributed among the districts Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Pankow, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Lichtenberg and Marzahn-Hellersdorf.
(Source: Healthy Berlin (Gesundheitsstadt Berlin))
Nursing and care
The state of Berlin supports initiatives for people who need special care due to their age or a physical or mental illness or disability. These initiatives work according to the principles "outpatient before inpatient" and "rehabilitation before nursing care." The broad array of services offered by care and nursing organizations, charitable associations and private service providers underpins a well-developed infrastructure that relieves the burden on caregiver relatives and ensures top-quality care.
Most of the caregiving done in Berlin is provided by family members themselves. Roughly 92% of individuals being cared for at home receive regular at-home support from their relatives; 64% are cared for exclusively by family members; and 28% are cared for using private and/or professional services. However, after taking on key caregiving responsibilities, only 26% of main caregivers are able to continue their regular employment without interruptions and/or restrictions.
Berlin offers a number of consulting services and support for both caregivers and those requiring care. Among them are the so-called Pflegestützpunkte ("Care Support Points"), the KontaktstellenPflegeEngagement ("Contact Points Care Commitment") and Pflege in Not ("Care in Emergencies"). In addition, the caregiving portal operated by the federal state of Berlin and the Hilfelotse Berlin ("Berlin Helpers") portal also offer a good overview of Berlin's caregiving infrastructure.
The KOBRA consulting organization provides information on the opportunities and legal framework involved in parental and caregiver leave. KOBRA supports companies in their efforts to develop custom-made solutions designed to reconcile the responsibilities of work and family: indeed, achieving the right work-life balance is key in attracting and keeping qualified personnel.
(Sources: Zusammenleben in Berlin - Der Familienbericht ("Living in Berlin – The Family Report"), 2011; KOBRA, 2012)