09.06.2021  |   Advisory Report

Health sector programmes against the corona pandemic

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Several programmes launched by the federal government to combat the corona pandemic proved inefficient.

We found shortcomings in the processes of distributing protective masks to especially vulnerable persons, compensating hospitals and funding additional intensive care units. We believe these are severe shortcomings even given the time pressure and the urgent need for action during the crisis.

For example, pharmacies received excessive payments funded from the federal budget to compensate them for distributing cost-free masks to particularly vulnerable persons. The system of compensatory payments to hospitals for keeping intensive care units free gave rise to dead-weight effects and inadequate incentives in reporting spare capacities. This resulted in excess payments to hospitals. We have doubts that using funds of the statutory health insurance scheme to finance additional intensive care units was a success.

We communicated our findings to the parliamentary Budget Committee on 9 June 2021.