Today, a federal and state working group is dealing with the future of Germany’s hospitals. The Federal Minister of Health expresses his views in advance – also with a view to the question of financing.
Before a federal-state round of hospital reforms, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach called on the federal states to invest in the clinics. “Initially, the federal states not only retain the right to plan the hospitals, they also have the obligation to invest in the hospitals,” the SPD politician told the “Handelsblatt”. “I’m convinced that reason will prevail in the end.”
Lauterbach explained: “We will agree to close the investment deficit. Otherwise the hospitals will continue to have a financial problem.”
Lauterbach had announced an attempt at a major reform to free the clinics from economic pressure on patients and staff. Among other things, a reduction in the lump sums (flat rates per case) that clinics receive per patient or treatment case is planned. This should reduce incentives to treat as many patients as possible.
In return, the clinics should receive fixed amounts for providing staff, an emergency room or necessary medical technology. In addition, they should be assigned to three categories nationwide: clinics for basic care, for “regular and priority care” and for “maximum care”.
A federal and state working group wants to discuss the planned reform of the financing and reorganization of hospitals in Germany today. Lauterbach was confident. The meeting is the start of a series of talks in this composition, he said.
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