Friedrichshafen: Well, the Medicine Campus Lake Constance is probably the Weingarten Hospital

For a whole day, the hospital's board of directors transpired on Wednesday – not just because of tropical temperatures. For months, management and outside consultants sought the royal road as Medicine Campus Lake Constance (MCB) emerged from financial misery. In the late evening, the direction was clear: from the group of three hospitals Friedrichshafen, Tettnang and Weingarten will remain only one long-term duo. The days of the hospital "14 Nothelfer" count with him. Weingarten employees have a combined employment guarantee and are offered positions in the other two MCB houses. The hospital network currently has approximately 2,200 employees.

Rigid austerity and realignment needed

In April, the city declared, at the request of our newspaper, that the goal was "the stabilization of MCB clinics". But it is clear that it must be saved. Otherwise, the main shareholder – the city of Friedrichshafen – is threatened with permanently high operating costs. By 2018, Hfler City Council had granted 4.4 million euros to MCB. For 2019, 4.2 million euros were also allocated to cover the deficit. By the end of 2017, start-up losses since the inception of MCB had risen to 15.5 million euros. Just under 9.5 million euros were allocated to the "14 emergency aid" account alone, which was therefore at the center of the debate. Five years of grandfathering already existed for the hospital in Weingarten, which was already deeply red. They expired in 2018.

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Clinical Director, Jochen Wolf, commented yesterday on the decision: "Because the economic results are the most difficult compared to the size of the hospital, the pressures to act are the greatest." Therefore, the "restructuring" should start this year. There is no specific mention of a closure or abandonment of the site. As a result, "the relocation of the services provided to the Tettnang Clinic and the Friedrichshafen Hospital" means nothing more than the fact that "the 14 emergency workers" stopped the Scottish.

At the staff meetings, staff were informed yesterday at the three MCB clinics that there was no "maintenance of the situation" and that the network of municipal hospitals needed to be realigned. In Weingarten, the message initially called for silence, then many questions, said MCB Press spokeswoman Susann Ganzert, on request.

The Klinikum Friedrichshafen is the main building of the Medical Campus Bodensee.

The Klinikum Friedrichshafen is the main building of the Medical Campus Bodensee.
| Image: Cuko, Katy

2200 employees already informed

But in Friedrichshafen and Tettnang, Jochen Wolf's statements were eagerly awaited. "We have not achieved the growth goal for which our medical concept was designed," quotes the head of the clinic in a press release. The expected growth in the number of patients has not occurred, although their numbers have increased further since the end of 2018, particularly at the Friedrichshafen site. In any case, the networking of the three hospitals did not bring the expected effects, according to Wolf. Even "unsatisfactory working conditions" in all areas are mentioned in the press release. The reason is the existing structures and the shortage of skilled workers. But even more restrictive political guidelines play a role. All in all, the valuation of today is different: we must "rethink Verbund," said Mayor Andreas Brand in his capacity as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Hfler Klinikum.

Location Friedrichshafen is being enlarged

According to this, the Friedrichshafen site needs to be expanded to become a centralized care clinic. This goes hand in hand with a planned strengthening of emergency care. The construction of a central emergency room is absolutely impossible because of the legal requirements. "The budgets for this investment have already been published," says the MCB. And Tettnang? New operating rooms are being built in which inpatients and outpatients can be operated on. Here is "another specialization" planned, which indicates the institution as a specialized clinic.

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MCB officials did not want to go into details yesterday. The concept discussed in the supervisory board of Weingarten and Tettnang has not yet been approved, he said. The state of Baden-Württemberg as planning authority has not yet agreed. And the partners from Weingarten and Tettnang – city and Lake Constance – must also be accompanied. The city of Friedrichshafen will then, as a shareholder, "strongly support the realignment of medical strategy and sites," he concludes.