Qualified medicine everywhere: Lucha rejects level classification of clinics

Qualified medicine everywhere
Lucha rejects level classification of clinics

Minister of Health Lauterbach aims to divide clinics into different levels. But this idea does not go down well with everyone. The chairman of the conference of health ministers, Lucha, even sees dangers in this.

The chairman of the conference of health ministers, Baden-Württemberg’s department head Manne Lucha, rejects the planned division of the clinics into three quality levels. “For us it is important that it is clear that there will be highly qualified medicine at every location in the future – and no ranking,” said Lucha of the German Press Agency in Stuttgart. The federal and state health ministers will meet on Wednesday and Thursday for a conference in Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance. The hospital reform, once described as a “necessary revolution” by SPD Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, will overshadow all other issues.

There are still differences in essential points, said Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Health. “There are still points with different assessments by the federal and state governments that we have to clarify.”

Levels are not statements about quality

The federal states are particularly opposed to Lauterbach’s plans to divide the clinics into three quality levels – from basic care close to home to a second level with other offers up to maximum care providers such as university clinics. They fear that this could damage the reputation of poorly rated hospitals and ruin them economically. “We have to make it clear once again that the notion of levels has nothing to do with quality,” said Lucha.

In the reform, the federal government is insisting on uniform quality specifications, and the performance level of the clinics should become more transparent. The hospital reform should not only lead to a specialization of hospitals, but also to a partial abandonment of the case-based flat rate principle. The remuneration system is to be changed in order to free hospitals from economic pressure. The law is scheduled to come into force on January 1, 2024. Lucha said there was a “compulsion for the success” of the reform. “Otherwise we will have a cold process of concentration and closures through the back door without political control.”

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