Too ineffective: cdu wants to close every fifth clinic

Hospitals need more money. The hospital lobby has turned to politicians with new demands for millions of euros. CDU hospital expert Riebsamen wants to know nothing of it: Hundreds of the over 2.000 hospitals in Germany he even considers superfluous. According to a report in the FAZ, Riebsamen said that patients in Germany could be cared for reasonably even if every fifth clinic were shut down.

"We have too many hospitals and too many departments," said Riebsamen. The comments are primarily directed at the hospital lobby: according to a campaign by the German Hospital Association (DKG), an additional amount of 750 million euros is needed for the budget and the renovation of hospitals for 2013. This demand is justified with the strained financial situation of many hospitals and the increased prices, which would have to be compensated.

Statutory health insurers are already transferring an estimated 65 billion euros to clinics for the year as a whole. This is equivalent to almost a third of their total budget. Riebsamen therefore has little sympathy for the DKG's additional demands. Health politician Johannes Singhammer from the CSU, on the other hand, called for billions in support for distressed hospitals.

There should be agreement on the further financing of hospitals before the federal elections on 22. September, but only to a limited extent. The Westphalia-Lippe Medical Association warned against a standstill in health policy: "We cannot afford a blockade of health policy purely out of election campaign tactics at the moment," its president Theodor Windhorst told arzteblatt. A deterioration in patient care would be the result.

Urgent topics include combating the shortage of doctors, the question of fair care in times of scarce resources, the development of a new fee schedule for doctors, dealing with the scandals surrounding the procurement of organ donations, and fighting corruption in the health care system. "All of this needs to be tackled and pushed forward," Windhorst said.

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