Home » vdek: Hospital bankruptcies show the need for structural reforms – scaremongering is not appropriate

vdek: Hospital bankruptcies show the need for structural reforms – scaremongering is not appropriate

by admin

Tuesday, February 20, 2024, 1:45 p.m

Ulrike Elsner, Chairwoman of the Association of Replacement Funds, explains the liquidity problems faced by clinics. V. (vdek):

(Berlin, February 20, 2024) “The impending insolvencies of hospitals clearly show that a structural reform of the hospital landscape is more than overdue and must not be delayed any further. Demographic change, shortages of medical and nursing staff, medical progress and quality problems in care – “business as usual” cannot be allowed to continue. The goal must be to adapt the hospital infrastructure to the needs and requirements of the people and that means: We need more concentration, specialization and outpatient care. Against this background, it is absurd that hospital operators are now demanding more and more money to maintain inefficient and non-need-based structures and justify this with the threat of insolvency.

Bankruptcy does not mean closure

We take the threat of bankruptcies seriously, but they do not justify scaremongering. So far, we know of 40 hospitals out of almost 1,650 in total that have been in insolvency proceedings since July 2022. Bankruptcy proceedings do not necessarily mean closure. The goal is always to renovate the clinic and find a new perspective, such as converting it into an outpatient care facility. Hospitals are often taken over by a new provider, and in many cases only individual specialist departments or just one location out of several are closed. There are currently still almost 2,500 hospital locations. If hospitals are closed, it is primarily urban regions and regions with urbanization approaches that are affected. In addition to the financial situation (lack of funds, inefficiency), the most common reasons for closure are a lack of staff, restructuring and a lack of patients.

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A lot of money for the hospitals, financed by contributors and employers

In addition, the hospitals have received financial aid several times since 2022: Corona aid, an aid package for pediatrics and obstetrics and energy aid – a total of 10.74 billion euros. In 2024, health insurance costs will increase by five percent due to rising state base case values, although the number of cases remains below the pre-Corona level. More than 90 billion euros, i.e. around one in three premium euros, will flow into hospitals in 2024, financed by contributors and employers. Unfortunately, many federal states are currently not meeting their investment financing obligations. We need modern, needs-based structures and a commitment from everyone involved.”

The Association of Replacement Funds e. V. (vdek) is the advocacy group and service provider for all six replacement funds, which together insure more than 28 million people in Germany:

– Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), X: @TK_Presse


– DAK-Gesundheit, X: @DAKGesundheit

– KKH Commercial Health Insurance Fund, X: @KKH_Politics

– hkk – Handelskrankenkasse, X: @hkk_Presse

– HEK – Hanseatic Health Insurance Fund, X: @HEKonline

The Association of Replacement Funds e. V. (vdek) was founded on May 20, 1912 under the name “Association of Commercial Registered Relief Funds (Replacement Funds)” in Eisenach. Until 2009, the association operated under the name “Association of Employee Health Insurance Funds”. V.” (VdAK).

The association’s headquarters with more than 300 employees is in the federal capital Berlin. In the individual federal states, 15 state representations in the state capitals with over 400 employees and more than 30 employees in the care bases ensure the regional presence of the replacement funds.

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