Interview | Berlin hospital company: “Investments in hospitals are more a rowboat than a flagship”

Interview | Berlin hospital society

“The hospital investment is more a rowboat than a flagship”


Photo: dpa / Paul teeth

The Senate has pledged € 150 million a year to clinics in Berlin. But the need is 350 million a year, says Marc Schreiner of the Berlin Hospital Society. He feels rather disappointed in the coalition.

rbb: Mr. Schreiner, according to data from the Berlin Hospital Society, hospitals need 350 million euros per year. The Senate has pledged € 150 million. What would you want the money for?

Marc Schreiner: We have a legal claim against the country. The law requires the state of Berlin to invest adequately in hospitals. And what it means, we have demonstrated with extensive research and a survey of hospitals: the 350 million euros will be used for the purchase of modern buildings, a modern medical infrastructure and expensive equipment. We have created a survey period from 2020 to 2030 so that this can also be mapped well in terms of hospital planning: € 3.5 billion in eligible projects that we need to manage. And for this we need 350 million euros a year.

Per person

Marc Schreiner, managing director of the Berlin Hospital Society (Source: Dirk Hasskarl)

Dirk Hasskar

Marc Schreiner has been CEO of the Berlin Hospital Society since May 2018.

As I said, the Senate has promised € 150 million if the € 200 million gap does not flow. So what’s going to happen?

Berliners will have to adapt to being cared for in four- or three-bed rooms. But this is not good for the working conditions of the more than 55,000 employees in Berlin hospitals either. And here the coalition started with the promise of improving working conditions in hospitals. It is now in the hands of the Chamber of Deputies. If sufficient funds flow into the budget deliberations, we can achieve the goal. Otherwise we will be left behind.

Do you have the feeling that the Senate is listening to you?

Unfortunately, we have received a bad signal from the Senate. This decision, with which the draft budget was launched, provides for only € 150 million. This is the exact opposite of what, for example, the incumbent mayor has announced. He said that hospital investments will be the “flagship of the new coalition”.

We have the impression that it is more of a rowboat. Even the “program for future hospitals” mentioned in the coalition agreement, which would like to offer good care in all hospitals in the city, cannot be achieved with this resolution of the Senate.

With the corona pandemic and the war against Ukraine, we currently have a different view of hospitals. Didn’t that help with the pressure?

Indeed, it is surprising how few politicians are now following up on the gossip and endorsements of the past few years with action. The hospitals were the nucleus for the care of the population. The whole city made sure that hospitals and especially their employees worked. And finally we are left out in the rain. This is not understandable here.

You wrote an open letter. Are there any reactions?

Unfortunately, we have not yet had a reaction to this open letter, which we have written together with health insurance companies, doctors and nursing associations. That’s why we held the demonstration in front of the House of Representatives.

There are more and more people who need medical attention. We too are getting old. How does this affect the investment backlog?

The hospital plan, which defines hospital supply facilities for the next few years, also provides for an increase in beds by 1,000 for the city, due to population growth and aging. This increase in beds must also be followed by investments. And it is actually incomprehensible that with the Senate resolution there is even less than in 2021, which had not already been sufficiently invested, so what the Senate has decided does not go back and forth.

What is your emotional state with respect to the Senate, i.e. promises and reality?

Hospitals and their staff are impatient because there is no recognition of what hospitals mean for city care. Incidentally, hospitals are also very important economic factors. We educate, make people healthy, buy, spend and order services. And none of that is adequately appreciated here. The impatience is really great, and that is why we take to the streets.

Thanks for the interview!

The interview with Marc Schreiner was conducted by Ingo Hoppe, rbb88,8.

Broadcast: rbb88.8, April 25, 2022, 4:10 pm


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