Health experts from Berlin and Brandenburg have called for closer cooperation between the two federal states. At a panel discussion of the Brandenburg state parliament and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, they warned of the consequences of demographic development and climate change for the health system.

He is convinced that “only those who pool ideas on a large scale ultimately have a chance,” said former Charité director Karl Max Einhäupl. “Brandenburg is a poor country, and Berlin doesn’t have any amount of money either,” said Einhäupl. “If we don’t manage to combine our strengths financially and intellectually, we won’t be able to solve it.”

The problem that the region faces, not only in the field of medicine, is the contrast between the capital, the suburbs that surround it and the vastness of the Brandenburg state.

“In Berlin you can find three general practitioners on the same street,” said the chairman of the health committee in the Potsdam state parliament, Björn Lüttmann (SPD). In Brandenburg, on the other hand, in some places there is no longer a doctor at all.

Health Minister Ursula Nonnemacher (Greens) made a similar statement: It is becoming increasingly difficult for Brandenburg hospitals to meet the quality criteria of the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA).

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“It must be ensured that the quality criteria of the G-BA do not lead to a supply gap in rural, sparsely populated areas,” demanded the minister. Because where there are only a few patients, it will also be difficult to reach the G-BA’s minimum case numbers.

Einhäupl didn’t want to let that go completely unchallenged. “We have 15 hospitals in Lusatia,” said the former Charité boss. “We have to ask ourselves the question: do we need 15 hospitals? And are they really capable of offering the best for their patients?”

Concrete cooperation projects were also discussed on Tuesday. The former President of the Academy of Sciences, Günther Stock, referred to the Berlin-Brandenburg health cluster.

“We are the number one startup founding community for biotech companies,” said Stock. There are now 400,000 people working in the cluster, with a turnover of 33 billion euros.

However, no one can tackle climate change and its impact on health alone. “We need better coordination of care services, for example in the development of focal points,” warned Stock. A common bed plan for the Berlin-Brandenburg region “wouldn’t be too bad”. Digitized patient data is also necessary.