Rhön-Klinikum announces agreements for Gießen and Marburg University Hospital |

Rhön-Klinikum AG has terminated an agreement with the state government to finance the Gießen-Marburg University Hospital. The country reacted with a lack of understanding, employee representatives feared the layoffs and called for a strike.

For months, Rhön-Klinikum AG and the state of Hesse have been negotiating a new agreement for the privatized Gießen and Marburg University Hospital (UKGM). A joint mission statement must become a contract by the end of June. Otherwise, an old contract from 2017, the so-called contract for the future, will automatically be extended. The contract regulates, among other things, the financing of projects at the UKGM worth millions.

But Rhön terminated this deal on Friday. The group had already threatened him a few weeks ago. The argument: a renewed extension “would have meant significant disadvantages for UKGM”. According to the Rhön group’s statement, UKGM would continue to be deprived of the legally required investment funds for university clinics in Germany without a successful final deal.

Dorn: “A low point in the negotiations”

The state of Hesse reacted with misunderstanding. Rhön is dragging the negotiations for a follow-up agreement “into a phase of uncertainty,” said Science Minister Angela Dorn (Greens). That was “a low point in the negotiations”. There was no time for Rhön AG to delete the old newspaper. Rhön also questions the “Letter of Intent” agreed in January.

Rhön CEO Christian Höftberger contradicts this. Termination has no effect on the closed mission statement. For a secure future of the UKGM the “Letter of Intent” is supported. Rather, by resolving the old agreement, “the way is clear for a new, sustainable and good solution for the UKGM”. All existing obligations for investments and construction projects would be fulfilled.

The workers’ representatives are calling for a strike

The Verdi services union has called for a full-day warning strike at the UKGM for next Thursday. The reason for this is the Rhön Group’s refusal to conclude a collective agreement to secure jobs, Verdi announced on Friday.

Up to now, job safety has been guaranteed by a collective agreement and currently by contracts between the state and the clinic. However, with the termination of contracts, employee protection will be lost at the end of the year, a union spokesperson explained.

The talks haven’t failed, but it won’t be easy

Science Minister Dorn asked Rhön AG to “take more responsibility for its flagship among Rhön clinics”. Daniel May (Verdi), spokesman for university medicine, called the unilateral cancellation of the future newspaper “irresponsible”. This is an attempt to put pressure on the country on the shoulders of the workers.

Ralf-Norbert Bartelt, spokesman for health policy of the CDU parliamentary group, advises caution and, despite the termination of the contract, is counting on the continuation and successful conclusion of the talks.

500 million euros of financing offered

The state of Hesse said in January that it will support privatized university clinics with nearly half a billion euros for ten years. In return, UKGM should, among other things, refrain from layoffs and spin-offs for operational reasons.

Rhön had offered stakes of at least € 22 million per year. Furthermore, the group wants to ensure that all profits remain in the company, i.e. the proceeds are not distributed to the shareholders.


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