Shortly before the federal cabinet passed the hospital reform, cross-party resistance was forming in the federal states against the controversial legislative plans of Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach. Baden-Württemberg’s Health Minister Lucha accuses the Federal Minister of breaking his word and announces tough mediation procedures in the Federal Council.

Baden-Württemberg’s Health Minister Manfred Lucha, who had long led the negotiations on the reform on the part of the states, accused Lauterbach of breaking his word on several occasions in an interview with the “Augsburger Allgemeine” and threatened that the legislative plans in the Federal Council would be blocked by the mediation committee.

“Federal Health Minister Lauterbach has abandoned the path of communication with the states when it comes to hospital reform and is no longer sticking to common agreements,” said the Green politician. Lucha pointed out that all health ministers from the 16 federal states were calling for joint changes to the reform across all parties. “If the federal government does not take up the proposals of the states, going to the mediation committee is unavoidable,” he said. “And I think it is questionable whether Karl Lauterbach will experience a common mediation result during his term as minister,” added Lucha.

“We states appeal to Mr. Lauterbach to take our suggestions seriously,” emphasized the Green politician. “If Federal Minister Lauterbach does not respond to the demands of the states, the Bundestag will have to significantly improve the reform in the parliamentary process,” demanded Lucha. “In the end, the Federal Council will decide one way or another,” he added, referring to the initiation of mediation proceedings. “The approach of introducing the hospital reform as a law that does not require approval is the biggest breach of word that the Federal Minister of Health has made, contrary to previous promises to the states,” criticized the Green politician.

The states did not consider this to be legal: “The report that Baden-Württemberg commissioned together with Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein comes to the clear conclusion that the hospital reform must be a law that requires the approval of the Federal Council,” Lucha emphasized. “The states are keeping a lawsuit open, that depends on the federal government’s further behavior,” he added

Lauterbach’s hospital reform also contradicts the federal principle in terms of content, said the Green politician. “The minister believes that he can decide on the local hospital offering centrally from the federal government, even though the planning sovereignty lies with the states according to the Basic Law,” said the Baden-Württemberg Social Affairs Minister. Lauterbach shows a fundamental mistrust of the states. “This approach is sad exactly 75 years after the Basic Law came into force,” he added. “In principle, Minister Lauterbach only trusts Professor Lauterbach,” criticized the Green politician.

The reform one-sidedly favors university hospitals. “We also need good maximum care providers far from the universities, better targeted patient management, a bundling of the available service options and the increasingly scarce staff and of course good emergency care in the region,” said Lucha. “That’s why hospital reform is undeniably important,” he emphasized. But this must be implemented through dialogue. “Citizens are initially afraid of losing an offer. Our job is to explain how we maintain the performance of our hospital system by bundling and concentrating offerings.”

Fears of poorer emergency care are unfounded. “In real, serious emergencies, you need the best possible care as quickly as possible: with a serious stroke or polytrauma after a bad accident, the emergency doctor today doesn’t just take the patient to the nearest old-school hospital, but to a clinic specifically designed for that purpose.” That’s why It is all the more important to invest in rolling intensive care units, better air rescue and digitally networked, uncomplicated allocation to the right place. “That’s why we states are fighting with the federal government for good primary care,” said Lucha. “It is important to get started with digital patient management: My credo is: digital before outpatient before inpatient.”