Health and care in Schleswig-Holstein in two departments…

Health Minister Kerstin von der Decken (left, CDU) and Social Affairs Minister Aminata Touré (Greens). /image alliance, Marcus Brandt

Kiel – Kerstin von der Decken (CDU) is the new Minister of Health and Justice in Schleswig-Holstein. Aminata Touré (Greens), Minister for Social Affairs, Youth, Family, Seniors, Integration and Equality, will be responsible for future care.

Both politicians follow the previous Minister of Health and Social Affairs, Heiner Garg (FDP). The FDP is no longer represented in the state government of Schleswig-Holstein.

The 53-year-old von der Decken holds the chair of public law at the University of Kiel and director of the Walther Schücking Institute for International Law at the University of Kiel.

Touré studied political science and French philology at the Christian-Albrechts-University in Kiel. Together with Monika Heinold, she belonged to the top duo of the Greens in the state elections in Schleswig-Holstein. Touré is the first black female minister in Germany.

The layout of the ward in the north, which can be described as unusual, has recently come under severe criticism. For example, Birte Pauls, spokeswoman for health and care policy in the SPD parliamentary group in the state parliament, described this as “blatant nonsense”. She complained that the allocation of departments did not follow any technical criteria, but was “purely due to the internal logic of the power of black and green”.

“Moving health care from the Department of Social Services to the Ministry of Justice is nonsense. You won’t find a department like this anywhere else in the republic.” The process is a typical backwards role for the CDU, which absolutely wanted to take over the health department, and on top of that, it could not be surpassed in terms of disrespect for the guardians.

Given the demographic challenges, medical and nursing care in the country must be viewed holistically, she warned. “Separating health and care is counterproductive. Where should the focus be in the Department of Justice with the Department of Health?”

Daniel Günther was confirmed as Prime Minister in the state parliament in Kiel earlier today. In a secret ballot, 47 of the 66 MPs present voted for the 48-year-old, who easily achieved the required absolute majority of 35 votes. The CDU and the Greens can rule the northernmost state until 2027.

Günther has ruled since 2017, until now in a three-party coalition with the Greens and the FDP. After the May 8 election, attempts to restart this Jamaican alliance, which the CDU had pursued despite the change in majority, failed due to resistance from the Greens.

The CDU then decided to negotiate a two-party coalition with the Greens. The talks ended last week and the coalition agreement was approved by party conferences last Monday. It focuses on climate protection and energy transition.

Günther did not make a government statement after the re-election, but that was planned only after the summer parliamentary break. In a short welcoming speech, he announced that he would continue to perform his duties “with humility and respect”.

“I think it will be challenging times.” Günther referred to Russia’s war against Ukraine and the sharp increase in prices. The past few years with the pandemic have taught him that no one knows what the future will bring.

Günther thanked retired FDP ministers Heiner Garg (health) and Bernd Buchholz (economy). The change of government also includes the departure of colleagues “with whom I have worked very, very hard and successfully in the past five years”. He would do a great job. The parting caused an ambivalent feeling, but also melancholy.

The CDU won the state election by a significant margin with 43.4 percent, achieving its best result in decades. With 18.3 percent, the Greens took second place ahead of the SPD. The CDU has 34 seats in the state parliament, the Greens 14. Together, the two partners have 48 deputies, which corresponds to a two-thirds majority.

According to data from the Presidency of the State Parliament, three parliamentarians were absent from the election for prime minister due to illness, including a member of the CDU. 15 deputies voted against Günther, four abstained. In addition to the CDU and the Greens, the state parliament also includes the opposition parties SPD, FDP and the South Schleswig Voter’s Association (SSW). AfD and Linke missed the jump over the five percent barrier in the state elections. © may/dpa/


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