The current financing system will put more hospitals in trouble, criticizes the Basel health politician.
The hole in the cash register of the Felix Platter Hospital in Basel is almost 100 million francs. However, the background to the red numbers is neither empty beds nor an unprofitable operation: the reason is the new building, which was valued too highly. Now the hospital has to make a copy and this puts it in financial difficulties. “This is a highly unpleasant situation,” says Basel Health Director Lukas Engelberger.
The canton of Basel-Stadt will probably fill the million hole, although the hospitals have not been part of the Basel canton administration for more than ten years and function as public institutions. However, the canton remains the owner – and will probably also pay. The canton wants to keep the hospital, which specializes in geriatric medicine.
Other Swiss hospitals will have problems.
The Basel SP National Councilor Sarah Wyss is not surprised that the Felix Platter Hospital is in trouble. The health politician has previously criticized that too positive values were assumed when the new hospital was built. Nevertheless, she does not want to bring much criticism this year. Basel is not alone with the problem and it is not homemade. “Other Swiss hospitals will have problems,” says Wyss.
The reason is the financing system of the health care system in Switzerland: “The hospital has to use the profit from the current medical services to finance the investments of the future.” That’s why Wyss believes that more and more hospitals are in trouble and have to build.
Spital Aarau also wants money from the canton
An example of this is the Kantonsspital Aarau (KSA), where a value adjustment is also the reason for a cash injection. Aargau should inject 240 million francs so that the KSA does not go bankrupt. One reason for this is inflation, which is driving up the cost of the 700 million franc new building.
In addition, those responsible for the KSA complain that the medical services are not sufficiently paid for and that the financial situation of the hospital cannot be improved.
As a consequence of the request for help from the canton, four of the seven board members of the cantonal hospital in Aarau have submitted their resignation. Including the President and Vice President.
University Hospital Basel wants to block 1.4 billion
The Basel region could soon face another problem: the University Hospital Basel also wants to build. The existing Klinikum 2 is to be almost completely replaced by a new building with a tower. Another tower is to be built as part of Klinikum 3. The work is expected to cost 1.4 billion Swiss francs.
It’s our turn to work with the university hospital to see if there are any savings.
When asked about the planned buildings of the university hospital and their financing, the Basel health director Engelberger remains vague. “It is our turn to look at the financial planning year after year with the university hospital and to assess whether it is still up to date or whether there are any potential savings.”
The old hospital became a residential building
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People are now living in the former Felix Platter Hospital. The hospital was repurposed after it became clear that it would soon no longer meet the safety requirements of a hospital and would therefore have to be closed. This after a lengthy process in which homeland security, monument preservation and the canton of Basel-Stadt were involved. In 2016, the facade of the hospital was placed under monument protection.
Building cooperatives then developed the proposal to convert the building into a residential and quarters house. In 2020, the hospital became a residential building. Hardly any changes are visible from the outside because the facade is under protection.
A new building was built next to it for the hospital. The new building that is now tearing the hole in the till.
Regionaljournal Basel, March 16, 2023, 12:03 p.m.; kenc/braa; mata