Although mothers, fathers and children need rehabilitation and preventive care more urgently than ever, the clinics are sliding deeper and deeper into the red. A family policy debacle is looming. To counteract this threatening development, the German Association of Private Hospitals (BDPK) has written an open letter to the federal government’s health and family politicians.
The German rehabilitation and prevention clinics for mother/father-child measures lack about 90 million euros annually. Since they have been chronically underfunded for years, they can no longer meet the increasing demand and it is to be feared that many clinics will have to close. Since at least one fifth of all mothers and fathers of children under twelve need rehabilitation or preventive measures, there is a threat of a massive increase in social problems and a significant rise in absenteeism from work due to depression, exhaustion and burnout.
According to an independent expert report commissioned by the BDPK, mother/father-child facilities would need a daily rate of 115.74 euros in 2021 to operate economically. Including inflation-related price increases, a daily rate of at least 120 euros would be required for 2022. However, the actual rate is only just over 80 euros on average and thus 40 euros too low. With about 105,000 measures carried out with a duration of 21 days, this results in an annual deficit of the clinics of about 90 million euros. According to the report, the financing gap has existed for years at a similar level. Due to the consequences of the pandemic and the recent price increases, the imbalance is now threatening to worsen.
To counteract this threatening development, the BDPK has written an open letter to the health and family politicians of the federal government. In the letter, the association demands a legal adjustment of the existing remuneration system. Furthermore, the BDPK points out to the politicians that the expenditure for mother/father-child services is a sustainable investment in the future of our society. Every single mother/father-child measure contributes to avoiding expenditure in other benefit areas. According to scientific calculations, society recovers at least five euros for every euro invested in medical rehabilitation and prevention. Compensating for the deficit in mother/father-child facilities would thus bring a return of almost 500 million euros.
Article published on the BDPK website