BGH approves grants for municipal clinics

BGH approves grants for municipal clinics

But transparent calculation and inclusion in the requirements plan is necessary
Karlsruhe (jur). Municipalities can subsidize their hospitals if they are necessary to ensure care. That was decided on Thursday, March 24, 2016, by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in Karlsruhe (Az .: I ZR 263/14). In principle, he dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Federal Association of German Private Clinics (BDPK) against the Calw district. According to this, notification to the EU Commission is also not required if there is transparent transparency in advance as to which deficits are to be taken over and to what extent.

The lawsuit brought by the BDPK was against a decision of the district council to compensate for the deficit of the district clinics Calw GmbH with two hospitals in Calw and Nagold by 2016. The decision was made in 2013 after the clinics had a deficit of over three euros in 2011 and 6.2 million euros in 2012. In addition, the district took out guarantees for almost 15 million euros for investments.

The BDPK is convinced that these are subsidies that should have been notified and approved by the EU Commission. Unauthorized payments violate European state aid law. According to the case law of the European Court of First Instance (EuG), aid is only allowed for clinics that perform certain special tasks. However, this is not the case at the district clinics in Calw. There is therefore no factual reason for subsidies.

In the lower courts, the district court of Tübingen (judgment and JurAgentur announcement dated December 23, 2013, ref .: 5 O 72/13) and the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Stuttgart (judgment and JurAgentur announcement dated November 20, 2014) dismissed the lawsuit .

The BGH has now followed this in principle and dismissed the lawsuit regarding the period from 2014. The district judges explained the reason for the district's deficit compensation to be the maintenance of the hospital benefits. Both clinics were included in the Baden-Württemberg state's demand plan. This shows that "their operation is necessary to supply the population with needs".

According to EU law, it is therefore "services of general economic interest". Compensation payments are generally permitted here and, under certain conditions, do not have to be approved by the EU Commission.

These conditions for such an “exemption” include, however, that a facility has been commissioned with the relevant services in advance and that it is clearly and transparently determined how possible compensation payments are calculated.

The district of Calw commissioned its clinics with clinical care in 2008 and then again with the district council resolution of December 2013. The BGH is convinced, however, that only the current “mandate” clearly regulates how the annual compensation payment should be calculated.

The order from 2008, however, does not meet the "transparency requirements" for an exemption from the "notification obligation" to Brussels, judged the Karlsruhe judges. Therefore, the OLG Stuttgart should now check whether the deficit compensation for the years 2012 and 2013 was lawful for other reasons, or whether it is illegal aid. (mwo / fle)

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