August 3, 2021

Corona: Intensive bed fraud – Spahn does not feel responsible – domestic politics

Intensive care beds have been cheated on for months. But the Minister of Health does not feel responsible!

▶ Clinics receive between 360 and 760 euros for each bed that they keep free for corona patients. But this was restricted in November 2020. Only hospitals with scarce intensive care capacities were able to benefit from the compensation payments.

Exactly at this point in time, the big reduction in beds began!

Health Minister Spahn in an intensive care unit in Kiel in August 2020Photo: AFP / Getty Images

From then on, clinic operators made their situation more dramatic than it actually was. This is also shown by the current report by the Federal Audit Office.

Karl Lauterbach (58), who communicates closely with clinic operators, considers this to be common practice. Lauterbach to BILD: “These are by no means isolated cases!”

▶ Breaking: The Court of Auditors report shows that the occupancy rate of hospital beds has actually decreased overall in the last year! From 75.1 percent in 2019 to 67.3 percent in 2020. There was also a decline in intensive occupancy (from 69.6 percent in 2019 to 68.6 percent in 2020).

But the head of the Chancellery, Helge Braun (48, CDU), spoke in November 2020 of the threat of triage in the hospitals and justified the lockdown with the excessively high numbers.

Jens Spahn had known about the suspicion of cheating on the bed money since January.

But Spahn’s Ministry downplayed the scandal: The accusations of the Federal Audit Office are not resilient, fluctuations in the reported intensive care beds “are in the nature of things”. The reasons are staff absences, quarantine and patient isolation.

▶ The fact is: the bed payments were an invitation to fraud. You only had to deregister beds, and money came into the till!

Eugen Brysch, head of the German Foundation for Patient Protection, on BILD: “The pandemic is relentlessly exposing what is going wrong in the health system.” Germany’s hospitals would have known “how to do it”. “Of course, the managing directors knew how to use their advantage again. Simply mathematically occupy the beds with patients. The scam brought another financial blessing, ”complains Brysch.

But instead of providing information, Spahns Haus passed on the responsibility: It was “the responsibility of each individual hospital” and the federal states to “report correctly and responsibly”.

Means: The federal states should sweep up the pieces that the federal government has created.

Group Vice Thorsten Frei (47, CDU) calls in BILD “a comprehensive clarification of the facts” in order to “get to the bottom of the hospitals’ reporting behavior”.

FDP parliamentary group vice Michael Theurer (54) wants a special investigator who comprehensively clarifies “whether the Ministry of Health really worked conscientiously in the pandemic”. The ministry also has control obligations. “Why are there any obvious contradictions between the millions of payments for new intensive care beds and the constant non-growing intensive care capacities?”