Implementation of hospital reform: Philippi demands more “leg room”

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Written By Kampretz Bianca

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Hanover. By implementing the clinical reform of Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD), Lower Saxony also aims to maintain a well-functioning network of hospitals throughout the country. “We need more legroom in the country to organize our hospital care in a decentralized way,” said Health Minister Dr. Andreas Philippi from the Oldenburg “Nordwest-Zeitung”. While patients in large cities can reach the nearest hospital in just 30 minutes on foot, in rural areas this is not even possible by car in the same period of time.

The federal states are critical of hospital reform. It disregards hospital planning in federal states, entails higher costs for taxpayers and will lead to the deterioration of rural areas, he said.

According to Philippi’s wishes, the Norderney hospital was to be kept to the northwest. The North Sea island concentrates the vast majority of overnight stays. “The clinic also has a large dermatology department,” he told the newspaper. Emergency patients from other islands will continue to be transported by helicopter to the mainland.

Eight defined supply regions

The SPD politician praised the vision of the East Frisian municipalities. Years ago, they noticed that the hospitals in Emden, Aurich and Norden were not viable. They planned the Georgsheil Central Hospital in Uthwerdum (district Aurich) in good time.

Lower Saxony has already defined eight supply regions with clinics of different sizes for the state. The plan is to concentrate certain operations, such as hip or heart operations, in certain locations. “But this must be done with a sense of proportion and not too clearly”, emphasized Philippi. Furthermore, the country will ensure that there are always enough intensive care beds available, even in small hospitals, he assured.

Assigning performance groups involves “a huge amount of effort.”

After the reform, hospital services will be financed in the future through service groups. According to the minister, the allocation of the 65 action groups for which the State will be responsible in the future involves a “huge effort”. Philippi did not rule out the possibility of legal action against the allocation of so-called performance groups. (dpa/lni)

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