Home » Lauterbach’s castle in the airKGNW statement on the Mediation Committee / Hospital Transparency Act

Lauterbach’s castle in the airKGNW statement on the Mediation Committee / Hospital Transparency Act

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Lauterbach’s castle in the airKGNW statement on the Mediation Committee / Hospital Transparency Act

Thursday, February 22, 2024, 4:11 p.m

Düsseldorf – Ingo Morell, President of the Hospital Association of North Rhine-Westphalia (KGNW), says about the outcome of the mediation process regarding the Hospital Transparency Act:

“With the Hospital Transparency Act, the traffic light coalition is doing pure window dressing. Patients can already quickly find out online where they can go for upcoming inpatient treatment. Portals such as the German Hospital Directory already reflect the experiences of the individual clinics as guides and offer orientation. If the Federal Minister of Health now promises even more transparency, the first thing he is doing is igniting a new bureaucratic turbocharger for the hospitals. You have to spend far too much time on documentation obligations, which is often not enough for patient care. The division of hospitals into three levels linked to the Hospital Transparency Act also only creates apparent transparency for patients: This categorization does not reflect the actual quality of many smaller hospitals in particular, it obscures it. If you only focus on that, you won’t necessarily find the best solution for you.

The liquidity funds of 6 billion euros mentioned by the Federal Minister of Health are simply an air booking, because how this sum comes about is still his secret. The hospitals have long been entitled to the money from the nursing budget and has already been budgeted for. Many houses had to pre-finance this through loans, so they have to use the money straight away to pay it off. You cannot counteract a structural cost explosion with short-term liquidity boosts. A health economist like the Federal Minister of Health should know this. He still lacks a sustainable response to the increased costs caused by inflation. Instead of finally creating a solution, he just keeps announcing new possibilities. None of these have been credibly substantiated yet. This also applies to the alleged transformation fund of 50 billion euros. To do this, the Federal Minister of Health needs the federal states that he has just pushed out of the hospital reform. This announcement also seems to be just another chimera from Lauterbach’s castle in the air.

Only seven SPD-led federal states have agreed to an agreement in the mediation committee; nine states do not support it, including three states co-governed by the SPD. Celebrating this as constructive politics does not correspond to the democratic ideal. The seven SPD states must now take responsibility for the consequences of this decision for public services.

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For the NRW hospitals, we remain focused on the implementation of North Rhine-Westphalia’s hospital planning, which is now beginning. The new service groups based on clear quality specifications, which the Ministry of Health plans to assign to the clinics shortly, will also provide patients with clear guidance about the expertise of each hospital. “It is therefore important that these changes become apparent as quickly as possible, because they ensure a concentration of many services and still ensure secure services of general interest in all regions.”

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