Health: Union criticizes draft hospital reform

The Federal Ministry of Health's plans for hospital reform are met with a mixed response.

Health: Union criticizes draft hospital reform

The Federal Ministry of Health's plans for hospital reform are met with a mixed response. Union politicians have sharply criticized the draft bill from Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD). Politicians from the traffic light coalition, however, defended the plans.

The health policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Tino Sorge, told "Bild am Sonntag": "The proposals for financing are completely half-baked and lead to further uncertainty locally. The deaths in hospitals continue unhindered." Bavaria's Health Minister Judith Gerlach (CSU) accused Lauterbach of "once again not including the states in advance." The SPD politician wants to “push through his view of the reform with all his might.”

The chairman of the German Hospital Association, Gerald Gaß, told the newspaper that the draft was missing “an effective economic security for hospitals to compensate for inflation in 2024”.

The Green Party's health policy spokesman, Janosch Dahmen, pointed out the shortage of nursing staff and doctors, and at the same time the number of old and sick people who need to be cared for is growing. The quality of care is becoming increasingly poor, he told the German Press Agency. This vicious circle will now be broken "by securing the economic existence of small hospitals for primary care, while at the same time concentrating planned, specialized interventions only on larger clinics and by providing 50 billion euros over the next ten years to improve our hospital landscape for the future "to rebuild sustainably".

The FDP health politician Andrew Ullmann told “Bild am Sonntag”: “There will only be deaths in hospitals if we delay the necessary reforms. We need the reforms to achieve better care for the population.”

Fixed amounts instead of remuneration per patient

The project is intended to introduce a new compensation method. Hospitals should then no longer treat as many patients as possible for reasons of revenue. Today, clinics receive a flat rate of euros per patient or treatment case. These per-case flat rates should be reduced. In return, there should be fixed amounts for the provision of staff, an emergency room or necessary medical technology.

The basis for financing by the health insurance companies should be more precisely defined service groups. They are intended to ensure uniform quality standards. According to Lauterbach, “major quality deficits” should be reduced through more specialization. The reform will significantly change the hospital landscape, he said at the end of January.

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