Every tenth hospital in Germany is threatened with bankruptcy
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The financial controllers of the Federal Audit Office express clear doubts about the future viability of German hospitals: 40 percent are recording losses, and one in ten is at increased risk of insolvency. Now an amendment to the Basic Law should solve the problem.
D.he Federal Audit Office sees fundamental deficits in hospital planning and financing in Germany and calls for an amendment to the Basic Law that redefines the responsibilities between the federal and state governments.
“There is hardly any future-oriented planning, for example taking into account demographics, morbidity and medical progress,” the Rheinische Post quoted from a report by the Federal Audit Office.
The highest federal authority, based in Bonn, examines the budget and economic management of the federal government. And there is obviously a problem, because the current hospital structure is not efficient, the Court of Auditors further criticizes.
“40 percent of the hospitals are recording losses, for over a tenth there is an increased risk of insolvency.” From the point of view of the supervisory body, the federal states have “only inadequately met their investment obligations in hospital financing for years”.
Court of Auditors wants to bundle responsibility
In Germany, the federal states are generally responsible for planning hospital capacities and also for the necessary investments. According to the report, the demand for this is seven billion euros nationwide annually.
The funding moves “at a consistently low level” between 2.6 and three billion euros. The Federal Audit Office is also not satisfied with the current hospital reform through two federally financed funds.
In his view, there are not enough incentives for effective structural improvement; and the co-financing by federal states and hospital operators is too low, according to the report. “The countries are thereby disproportionately released from their responsibility,” it says.
The Court of Auditors is therefore calling for the “financing and planning responsibility” for the clinics to be brought together again. To do this, however, the corresponding provisions in the Basic Law would have to be changed.
The two Green Members of the Bundestag Ekin Deligöz and Manuela Rottmann have written a joint statement on the deficiencies in the hospital landscape and write: “We mainly finance quantities: This applies to the hospital case flat rates that over-finance highly invasive medicine and starve basic providers.”
The two politicians complain that the fact that a facility simply exists and is open is not sufficiently remunerated. Regarding the reform efforts, Deligöz says that “simply pouring money into this system without fundamentally rethinking it is not promising”.
Rottmann emphasizes: “The Federal Audit Office is right: It is overdue that politicians finally set the structure of care based on the medical needs of the population.”