A dispute between the University Hospital of Gießen-Marburg and the state of Hesse over the terms linked to the promised €490 million funding threatens to court. In a letter to staff, Rhön President Dr. Christian Hoftberger now describes the country’s show as a “Trojan horse”. A report commissioned by Rhön supports the position of the clinic operator.
Contract talks between the state of Hesse and Rhön-Klinikum AG over a new agreement for the University Hospital Gießen-Marburg (UKGM) have stalled. If there is no agreement between the two sides to try to conclude a contract from the existing Letter of Intent (LoI), the legal dispute that continues for several years threatens. In this, the question should be clarified as to whether or not the UKGM – like any other hospital in Hesse regulated by German hospital law – is entitled to state investment subsidies.
Dr Christian Hooftberger, CEO of Rhön-Klinikum AG and Chairman of the UKGM Supervisory Board, sent a letter to nearly 11,000 UKGM employees in Gießen and Marburg on Thursday and provided insight into the still-controversial point in the 15-point contract between UKGM and earth. According to Hoftburger, this point is “essential to a successful conclusion of the negotiations”.
According to the letter, the state is specifically concerned with regulating how the value can be increased to the clinic, in the “hypothetical case of a UKGM sale”, by granting investment subsidies of around €490 million promised by the clinic. The state must be taken into account. According to information from this newspaper, the state is demanding the repayment of financing of about 350 million euros in the Rhön negotiations in the event of a subsequent sale of UKGM.
“This means that the financing agreed in the LOI will be largely reinterpreted as some kind of liquidity aid to be repaid or as a loan, and the financing agreed in the LOI will not actually be financing at all,” Höftberger writes. Beautiful and called ‘subsidies,’ but upon closer examination it has its drawbacks.” However, the investment means that the material is preserved first and not an increase in value.” Only when the investments exceed the preservation of the material, and enable us, for example, to make additional treatments , an increase in value occurs that we can deduct or repay according to the investment letter. Unfortunately, Minister Angela Dorn rejects this reasoning,” Hoftberger wrote. Even the Ministry of Finance admits that these funding requirements are very unusual.
In essence, this question also relates to whether the UKGM, as the only privately owned university hospital in Germany, is entitled to benefits without other conditions and requirements. According to the German Hospitals Act, university hospitals and clinics are subject to the principle of dual funding, regardless of the provider. The operating costs of treating patients are borne by health insurers, and the investment costs by federal states. Frankfurt University Hospital, which is smaller than the UKGM, receives about 57 million euros a year from the state, for example, according to information provided by Dorn in the state parliament. Apart from an annual sum of €8.1 million for both locations, UKGM is the only Hesse hospital that does not receive any regular funding. According to Professor Werner Seeger, medical director of UKGM in Gießen, a total of around €80 million per year would be necessary for both sites.
In this context, Hoftberger in the employee letter speaks of the “unlawful and unequal treatment of the UKGM”, even though the Hessan University Hospitals Act excludes privately owned university hospitals from the intended investment financing. In his assessment, Ron’s boss appears to be based on a legal report commissioned by the group, which is available to this newspaper.
Opinion: UKGM is entitled to the money
It says: “UKGM has a statutory right to fund the investment within the meaning of the dual hospital funding system applicable in Germany.” It violates academic freedom. The report also attempts to clarify the repeatedly raised question of whether Rhön and UKGM voluntarily waived this investment support as part of the privatization and comes to the conclusion that the waiver negotiated at the time was “limited in time and content” and thus, The right to subsidize investment costs remains.
So Hoftberger demands: “The decline of the UKGM system must be brought to an end. The state should not shirk its responsibilities. “Finance is a prerequisite for secure jobs. “As long as the State withholds money urgently needed for necessary investments from UKGM, it must – as in previous years – be generated from ongoing operations or obtained as loans. This is directly at the expense of the employees,” explains Hoftberger. So the strikes that are currently taking place are taking place in the wrong place, namely in Giessen and Marburg and not in Wiesbaden.
Furthermore, Rhön is prepared to maintain the exclusion of redundancy as part of a comprehensive agreement, to refrain from outsourcing and to reinvest all UKGM profits into the site. “But we will not accept that the worst situation for UKGM compared to all other clinics will be entrenched over the next 10 years,” Höftberger wrote. He accuses Green Minister Dorn of not caring about the success of the project, which she has rejected ideologically, and therefore also in UKGM and its staff.