Admin l Monday, 28 November 2022
BERLIN -German hospitals and clinics will be shielded from rising energy prices with an €8-billion ($8.3-billion) aid programme to absorb the costs, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said on Saturday.
“Rising energy costs won’t endanger the operations of hospitals,” Lauterbach told dpa. “No hospital will have to close its doors because energy is too expensive.”
The plan was part of a measure approved on Friday that seeks to control gas and energy price hikes across Germany.
Germany is facing the possibility of fuel shortages in the coming months and years because Russia, its main supplier, has turned off the taps to protest EU sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine. What fuel it is finding is rapidly climbing in price.
The plan budgets €6 billion for clinics and €2 billion for hospitals, with the option to draw on other funds should need arise. They run through April 2024.
The newly passed legislation also makes clear that hospitals and care homes are key public goods, which makes it easier to prioritize them for any other aid that might be necessary.