“Our plans are precisely about keeping the ‘clinic on the doorstep’,” emphasized the minister. The reform will also bring “more quality”. The controversial planned division of clinics into three different levels of care offers “great opportunities – especially in rural areas”.

Lauterbach’s reform concept provides for the construction of a new control system for emergency calls and the establishment of so-called integrated emergency centers at more than 400 hospitals. Hospitals are to be divided into the three categories of basic care, priority care and maximum care, for example at university clinics. A change in the compensation system is also planned.

Resistance is currently forming against Lauterbach’s reform plans, and the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Schleswig-Holstein are having the constitutionality examined by a court of law. Lauterbach told the Bayern media group: “The states fear that the federal government will take away the location planning or budget planning for the hospitals. But that’s not true.”