What the experts will admit....even in public forums....is that German hospitals are in a over-abundant quantity. Because of this, there's an ongoing battle with costs and how the system will survive.
This past week....the German government came to a temporary solution. They will inject two different payments out into the public hospitals of Germany. It didn't matter if you were running a fairly profitable hospital or a very financially weak hospital....you got a chunk of money out of the magic bucket. The amounts? For 2013, it's around 300 million Euro ($390 million dollars roughly). For 2014, it's to be around 580 million Euro (figure around $800 million dollars). (Numbers from the Local.de).
There are around 2,000 public hospitals in Germany. Some are major significant operations, and a fair number are simply small operations in the middle of nowhere. The experts tend to believe that over fifty percent are in financial trouble and could fail within the next four years.
The issues? There's a limit on profit, and a limit on almost every single item which the doctor or the hospital might prescribe for a person. Toss in pay-raises which are being continually demanded by nurses and doctors, and you've got a fairly difficult situation. Changes which dropped facility management from the state's budget, and put it directly onto the back of the hospital....means that they have to now pay for maintenance, construction, heating, and general repair.
The general gut feeling by the insiders (doctors).....is that there's going to have to be a cut on the 2,000 public hospitals. We aren't talking about a mere 100 or 200 hospitals either. You might find yourself in a rural community in the Eifel region one day, and the nearest hospital is now sixty minutes away, instead of the twenty minutes you were used to in the old days.
The general solution? Somehow, the government will have to invent another method to tax people for medical situations....without anyone noticing it's another tax. Then pass this onto the hospital program without making this obvious that it's a payment to keep them in operation.