Many hospitals in Germany may be forced into bankruptcy due to soaring energy prices and inflation, unless the federal government comes up with some form of assistance. Berlin must act quickly and drastically to avoid healthcare shortfall.
Health Minister Karl Lauterbach told state-broadcaster ARD, that the hospitals will face a very drastic liquidity problem in the next few months, and if we do not react quickly and really drastically, there will be closures.
The German Hospital Federation complained last week that the funding gap could add up to around €15 billion in 2022 and 2023, but Lauterbach brushed aside that estimate, saying that no one can predict how expensive electricity will be next year.
The federation, however, said that extra energy costs account for just about a third of that sum, while the rest of it was non-refinanced increases in material costs due to soaring inflation.
The health chief is set to meet Finance Minister Christian Lindner on Tuesday to discuss potential forms of assistance the government can provide, but has for now ruled out creating a specialized federal fund to help keep the healthcare facilities afloat.
Annual inflation in Germany continues to rise by double digits, accelerating to 10.9% in September, finalized data from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) showed on Thursday.
The inflation rate has reached an all-time high since German reunification, Destatis President Georg Thiel said, citing enormous price rises for energy products, as well as food costs, as the main reasons for the high inflation.
Leading German economists have recently warned that skyrocketing gas prices could push the EU’s largest economy into recession. They forecast that Germany will be among the countries worst affected by the global economic slowdown next year.
The EU is currently struggling with a severe energy crisis, with gas prices hitting record levels, driving up overall inflation. Russia once covered over 40% of the EU’s gas needs, prior to the start of its military operation in Ukraine and the ensuing sanctions.
Supplies have dropped dramatically this year, exacerbating the energy crisis as the bloc seeks to reduce its dependence on boycotted Russian energy and punish Moscow.
German energy giant EnBW AG announced on Tuesday that gas prices for households will rise again by an average 38%, starting December 1, 2022. The announcement comes around three months after the previous increase went into effect.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point Oil & Gas Embargo Blog News 2022.