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Health Ministry plans threaten 20,000 jobs, hospital group claims

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Health Ministry plans threaten 20,000 jobs, hospital group claims
Photo: DPA
08:40 CEST+02:00
The German hospital association (DKG) on Friday accused Health Minister Philipp Rösler of endangering his countrymen and some 20,000 hospital jobs with his plans to cut costs in the health industry.

In contrast to hospitals and clinics, which have been “really picked on,” DKG general manager Georg Baum told daily Berliner Zeitung that, “The effects on dentists, the pharmaceutical industry, private health insurers and general practitioners are considered very sensitively in the ministry.”

Rösler's draft law proposes that prices for hospital services be allowed to increase by 0.25 percent each year beginning in 2012, which would raise revenues by about €150 million annually, the paper said.

But Baum estimated that the need to increase wages and higher premiums demanded by health insurers would raise costs for hospitals by €1.5 billion. This funding gap would translate to a loss of some 20,000 jobs if Rösler's plans go forward, Baum told the paper.

“If the cuts stay in place then personnel will have to work even faster and the danger of mistakes in hospitals will increase,” he said. “And this during the background discussion over the quality and security of the hospitals.”

But hospital expert for the RWI institute for economic research, Boris Augurzky, told the paper these claims were false, explaining that Baum's numbers included only required inpatient procedures. If outpatient and elective procedures are also included, then most hospitals are actually looking at a revenue increase of some €500 million annually, he said.

“Things are going better for hospitals right now than they have in the last 10 years,” Augurzky told the paper.

DAPD/ka

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