Clinics in Frankenberg and Korbach: joint strategy of district and town

The nationwide hospital reform and the associated changes in the healthcare environment pose major challenges for hospitals in rural areas in particular. Against this background, small clinics alone will hardly be able to survive in the long term. New ideas, concepts and joint solutions are needed to sustainably strengthen medical care in Waldeck-Frankenberg. The district of Waldeck-Frankenberg and the town of Korbach are therefore working on a joint strategy for the hospitals in Frankenberg and Korbach.

Joint concept for Korbach and Frankenberg
As the sole shareholders of the district hospital in Frankenberg and the town hospital in Korbach, the district and the town want to organise high-quality medical care from a single source in future. "We want to respond to demographic changes, staff shortages and, above all, developments in hospital policy in the best possible way," said District Administrator Jürgen van der Horst and Mayor of Korbach Klaus Friedrich in a statement. Together with the management of the clinics in Frankenberg and Korbach, Margarete Janson and Sassan Pur, they have sat down at a table over the past few months - with the involvement of top representatives from local politics - and discussed possibilities for cooperation.

"We are all pursuing a common goal: to provide the people of Waldeck-Frankenberg with the best possible medical care. Now and in the future - and under the changes that the nationwide hospital reform will bring," says District Administrator Jürgen van der Horst. "We can only achieve this if we keep an eye on the entire hospital landscape in the district and develop a sustainable medical and location concept for rural areas," emphasises Karl-Friedrich Frese, First District Councillor and Head of the Health Department. "In this process, we are therefore fully focussing on developing a roadmap for a future-proof, high-quality medical offering to meet the needs of patients in the region," adds Klaus Friedrich.

Both clinics under the ownership of the district
In concrete terms, this means that the district and city are looking into transferring both clinics to the joint ownership of the district - as one joint facility at two locations. In this way, the high-quality medical services can be expanded, synergies can be cleverly utilised and tailor-made and sustainable healthcare can be ensured, while at the same time putting both hospitals on a solid financial footing in the long term. Furthermore, bureaucratic structures can be streamlined and processes improved.

No privatisation, no job cuts
The district and city emphasise a common goal: both hospitals should remain under municipal ownership. The medical departments at both sites could be restructured. However, staff will not be cut. "Through a joint hospital company, we want to make both hospitals fit for the future - and thus not only secure medical care in the long term, but also the jobs of both hospitals in the region," emphasise Mayor Klaus Friedrich and District Administrator Jürgen van der Horst. "Both partners can contribute their strengths and individual expertise to the joint company."

Joint declaration of intent agreed
An initial declaration of intent on this possible joint path has already been agreed by the district committee of the district and the municipal council of the city. The district council, the city council and the supervisory boards and employee representatives of the clinics are to be closely involved in the planning. Coordination talks are also being held with the state of Hesse regarding the strategic considerations.

The details of what a merger of the clinics could look like will only be worked out in a next step by the district, town and the two clinics together with the support of a management consultancy in the healthcare sector. The task will then be to develop a concept that is individually tailored to the situation in Waldeck-Frankenberg. There are no concrete plans for this yet. A timetable for the project is also still being worked out.