Saving money, paying off loans – that’s what the State Audit Office is demanding of the incoming state government. This is expected to increase revenues by EUR 3.3 billion. “This will trigger a lot of new spending requests,” said Gaby Schäfer, president of the State Audit Office. However, the state government is advised to use this money primarily to reduce debt. The North is getting into too much debt. “With almost € 11,000 per capita, the debt in Schleswig-Holstein is twice the national average,” he says. in the comments.
The investment needs of hospitals are huge
One point on the list of possible savings – at least this is what experts of the State Chamber of Control are convincing: hospitals. The need for investments in hospitals is huge. According to information, clinics have applied for a total of two billion euros for individual funding. The Court of Auditors urges the state to pay more attention in advance to which locations and what services are really needed. Based on this, you need to decide where the money goes. Qualitative specifications or minimum quantities should also influence hospital planning – for example, the question of how often a given operation takes place in a clinic.
National Court of Auditors: the location of the Eckernförde is not required
In this context, experts criticized the location of the clinic in Eckernförde. It would be restructured for 50 million euros – although, according to experts, the location would not be needed for delivery. It is precisely because of the tension between close-to-home care on the one hand and the centralization and specialization of clinics on the other hand that a clear political positioning is necessary. The Ministry of Health stresses that the quality specifications are included in the hospital plan. There is also a prioritization of investment subsidies: according to what is most urgent and most important to supply.
When asked, Health Minister Heiner Garg (FDP) said: “Schleswig-Holstein has a clear course in hospital planning and works reliably with those involved to ensure hospital care in the long term. (…) Future structural development should go hand in hand with hospital financing reform, Schleswig-Holstein is successfully campaigning for this at the federal level, I now expect the federal government to implement it quickly as the conditions for this have been created in the agreement coalition to the union level. “
The Treasury wishes to consider the comments
In addition, the State Audit Office is calling for the repayment of the Corona Emergency Loan, which was approved in 2020 to deal with the crisis, as soon as possible. The statement of Finance Minister Monika Heinold (Greens) was extremely short: “As every year, the Ministry of Finance will carefully look at the comments of the audit office.”
In addition, other critical points appear in the comments of the Audit Office, including a digitization program, an increase in the cost of an otter exhibition at the Multimar Wattforum in Tönning, and a 3 million program to finance mask production in the North.