Gone are the generosity of hospitals
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In the first wave of corona, clinics received generous financial aid in an unbureaucratic manner. The new emergency financing, on the other hand, is complicated and time-consuming. Jens Spahn wants to prevent “fraud”. But now is no time for fundamental debates – it is about human lives.
S.o There was also a lot of uncertainty in this epidemic year, but one thing seemed to be reliable: that the federal and state governments would, in case of doubt, proceed according to the principle that “money does not matter”. They threw billions in taxes after the huge economic side effects of their anti-corona measures as if there was no tomorrow. Often the executive sounded almost moved by its own generosity.
But now the topic of “frugality” is reappearing in a context in which one would never have expected it: of all things with hospital financing. In the first wave of the pandemic, the clinics received so-called free lump sums in an uncomplicated way – they could afford it, out of sheer caution, the number of Intensive care beds without taking a ruinous financial risk.
This unbureaucratic regulation probably saved the lives of sick people – and saved us pictures like those from Wuhan or Bergamo. The fact that there were also deadweight effects seems to be bearable – at least if you apply the pathos standard with which the federal government is now on the move when it comes to health protection.
But while nurses weren’t paid better, they were at least applauded and honored with expensive PR campaigns, Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) started talking about hospitals in a very unfriendly way in the summer: He spoke of “abuse” and “fraud” in July compared to “Ärzteblatt”.
The flat-rate fees then expired in September, so that upgrading for the second corona wave was once again the sole responsibility of the clinics. New emergency financing was only decided last week – three weeks after the announcement of the second lockdown, which is precisely intended to protect “public health” and prevent that from happening Hospitals overloaded will!
Clinicians from the Corona front report, however, that the new regulations are no longer generous and unbureaucratic, but in the way that regulations from German health policy are known: complicated, impractical and time-consuming. Anyone who finds it unsavory that clinics have to think about whether they can afford to treat their patients in times like these should also grapple with the question of whether the privatization of the health care system was a mistake. But this debate should be held after the pandemic. Now it’s about intensive care beds – yes: human lives.