Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) – Fewer people in Baden-Württemberg are being treated in the hospital. According to the AOK Scientific Institute (WidO), the number of somatic hospital cases fell by 14 percent in 2022 compared to 2019. In the case of psychiatric cases, the decline was almost eight percent. The pandemic is probably accelerating the trend towards more outpatient treatments.

“The fall in the number of cases in the past year was no longer due to keeping capacities free for seriously ill corona patients,” explained Dr. Ralph Bier, physician at the AOK Baden-Württemberg. Instead, enormous staff losses due to the waves of infection with the omicron variant were essential.

The greatest decline was in diagnoses that can be treated both in the hospital and by suitably qualified, resident doctors. These include high blood pressure with a drop of 43 percent or back pain with a drop of 37 percent. Fewer people were also treated in hospital for chronic lung disease COPD, diabetes and heart failure than in 2019.

“Even in the first two years of the pandemic, there were declines of a comparable magnitude,” Bier explained. The pandemic is apparently having an accelerating effect on the “stronger outpatient treatment that is urgently needed in Baden-Württemberg”.

According to the WidO, fewer people are also treated in hospital for heart attacks, strokes and some operations. The proportion of patients who were hospitalized because of Covid-19 has decreased significantly with the omicron variant compared to previous waves.

According to the WiDo, it looks similar to Baden-Württemberg throughout Germany. Nationwide, somatic hospital cases fell by 15 percent and psychiatric cases by 11 percent.