German parliament approves funding for modernization of hospitals

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The Bundestag, the lower house of German parliament, agreed to fund the modernization of the country’s hospitals with up to 4.3 billion euros (5.1 billion U.S. dollars), Germany’s Ministry of Health (BMG) announced on Friday.

The German government would provide 3 billion euros to enable nearly 2,000 hospitals to invest in modern emergency response capacities, digitization and information technology (IT) security, according to BMG.

Germany’s federal states as well as hospital operators would cover the remaining 30 percent of the total investment costs, according to BMG.

Hospitals in Germany are mostly financed via a dual system. While the federal states cover initial investment costs such as construction of buildings and equipment, national health insurance funds the ongoing operating costs through fees paid for hospital treatment.

“Germany’s hospitals should remain strong,” said German Health Minister Jens Spahn in a statement. “We are investing in their digital future — because the pandemic in particular has shown us how important well-equipped and functioning hospitals are.” (1 euro = 1.18 U.S. dollars)

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