The Berlin Hospital Society (BKG) is now sounding the alarm. She demands planning security from the state government and Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU). BKG managing director Marc Schreiner points to the enormous burden in medical care, which could increase significantly again with the recently detected mutations of the coronavirus. “For 2021 we need a broad financial rescue package and quick planning security,” says Schreiner.
In mid-December of last year, the Charité had to switch to an emergency program in order to cope with the burden of corona patients. Overall, Berlin hospitals – just like many other hospitals in Germany – have to postpone planned interventions because their capacities are no longer sufficient. Beds are scarce and there is a lack of trained staff.
Hospitals: need plan for 2021
The Berlin state ordinance regulates that hospitals providing basic and standard care must also keep beds free in order to alleviate bottlenecks caused by the pandemic. In contrast to the large clinics with their wide range of services, the federal government provides little or no financial compensation for the small facilities. You live from normal operations.
The BKG criticizes Health Minister Spahn above all for guaranteeing support only for short periods of time. “Such regulations on a weekly basis lead to insecurity in the hospitals and not to the kind of stability that health care currently needs to ensure,” says Managing Director Schreiner. “Everyone knows that the crisis will not be over at the end of February. We need a plan for 2021. “
According to the clinic managers, the current financing system does not do justice to the additional burdens. Not only does postponing operations lead to loss of earnings, people also avoid medical facilities for fear of contracting Covid-19.
The proceeds from the clinic outpatient departments and rescue stations are therefore falling. In contrast, hospital operators incur additional costs. For example, for complex hygiene concepts, but also for the care of corona patients themselves.
The German Hospital Association and the State Hospital Associations are therefore formulating demands on politicians: From January 1st, all clinics should receive “liquidity aid based on current performance”, as stated in a message from the German Hospital Association. In addition, short-term interim solutions should be possible, especially for facilities of basic and standard care that are currently not receiving any compensation payments.
The hospital companies also demand that the so-called lower nursing staff limits be suspended with immediate effect. Since the turn of the year, for example, a nurse in intensive care has only been allowed to look after two patients per day shift. According to the ordinance of the Federal Ministry of Health, there are three patients on the night shift.
“Only if solid improvements are made now,” says BKG Managing Director Schreiner, “and for the entire year, we can fully keep our performance promise in the coming months.”