More and more patients in clinics

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Clinics: More and more patients and fewer and fewer beds

Never before have so many patients been treated in full in Germany's clinics. According to evaluations by the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden, there is a continuous increase in the number of patients. This is despite the fact that the number of clinics and hospital beds can still be described as “falling”.

In Germany, clinics have to take in and treat more patients every year. In contrast, the number of clinic places has been minimizing for years. According to this, sick people are released faster and faster to make room for new patients. This results from current calculations by the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden. According to this, around 18 million people were admitted to inpatient clinics last year. That is a good 207,000 (plus 1.2 percent) more inpatient hospital treatments than in 2009. A good 11 years ago, 17 million patients were treated in clinics. In 1990, over 20 years ago, there were about 14 million patients. For hospitals this means an additional burden of around 3 million patient admissions.

Falling number of hospital beds
In the same period, the admission capacity of the 2065 hospitals decreased. The clinics currently have around 503,000 beds (number from 2010). In 2000 there were still 560,000 and in 1990 about 660,000 hospital places. It is therefore no wonder that the clinic managers are now starting to compensate for missing beds. According to the statisticians' evaluations, the relative length of hospital stays decreased. In 2010, patients were hospitalized for an average of 7.9 days. The previous year it was a smooth eight days and ten years ago, 10 days.

It is striking that hospital care is being privatized more and more. There is a clear trend towards private sponsorships. Over half of all hospital beds are still in public hands. But the proportion of hospital beds in private hands "is increasing steadily", as can be read in the Wiesbaden situation report. Last year, 17 percent of all clinics in Germany were privately financed. The occupancy of the beds averaged 77.4 percent for all church, public and private sponsors.

More doctors employed in hospitals
Most recently 134,000 doctors worked in hospitals. The total number of full-time employees in clinics was almost 827,000 employees. According to the Federal Statistical Office, about 2.1 percent more doctors worked in clinics compared to the previous year. The number of employees (nurses, nurses, cleaning staff) rose by 2.4 percent. (sb)

Also read:
Every tenth hospital treatment is harmful
Hamburg: Number of hospital beds is increasing

Picture: Günter Havlena /

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