(Rivista Internazionale - December 1995: The Order’s hospitals and structures for the elderly in Germany - 1/5)
With its enrolment in the register of associations on 22 October 1993, the «Malteser Werke e.V» association formally took over all the Order of Malta's hospital structures in Germany. These include nine hospitals, four nursing homes for the elderly and two palliative medicine departments, as well as a hospice and two day-hospices (under construction).
In the directives for the hospitals and nursing homes issued in 1987 a great emphasis is laid on patients' needs, in line with the business strategy of a modern service enterprise.
Patients must have the certainty that all the recognised forms of medicine, whether for
diagnosis or therapy, will be used for their treatment. Primary importance is also attributed to Christian spirit and charity.
This is why the organisation of the
Malteser hospitals and
homes is becoming increasingly focused on the staffs personal motivation, individual ideas and initiatives. This means that the impulse necessary to implement the directives can come from the base. The target is an organisational, managerial
and supervisory structure with the essential feature of performing a service focused on patients' needs backed up by Christian charity. It is also important that health workers do not only see their job as a way of earning a living, but as a lifestyle involving their whole personality and social environment.