Bonn Bonn University Hospital is investing state money from the Corona economic stimulus package in buildings and IT infrastructure. Three building projects on the Venusberg are to be implemented by 2024.
The NRW Ministry of Culture and Science (MKW) intends to use a substantial financial injection to advance the modernisation of university hospitals throughout the state. The Budget and Finance Committee released one billion Euro for this purpose on 29 June. The Bonn University Hospital (UKB) will receive €157 million from this so-called "Special Programme I NRW". In addition to further reducing the backlog of refurbishments, which has existed for decades in practically all state hospitals but has been and will continue to be successively alleviated by funding programmes, the new programme is also intended to boost the economy in the corona crisis.
During a visit to the Venusberg, Science Minister Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen (independent) said: "For months now, the subject of corona has dominated our daily lives. No one knows how long it will occupy us. Corona has shown us how important efficient state hospitals are". University hospitals such as the one in Bonn, he said, were "important anchor points in the fight against the crisis". At the same time, Corona has shown "fractures in university medicine" and a still existing "enormous investment backlog", said Poensgen. This is where the economic stimulus package comes in. The state's guidelines are as follows: In order to provide additional economic impetus, only those projects that are ready for construction but for which companies have not yet been commissioned are eligible for funding. The UKB has to award the contracts by mid 2021 and the projects have to be completed by 2024.
The Bonn hospital board intends to invest the majority of the funding amount, 130 million Euro, in the modernisation or construction of new buildings, as Wolfgang Holzgreve, medical director and chairman of the UKB board, explained. The remaining 27 million Euro were used to expand the IT infrastructure. The University Hospital will bring forward three construction projects in such a way that they fit into the time constriction envisaged by the Ministry. "We are thus continuing to pursue our overall strategy of structurally accommodating interdisciplinary departments in one place for modern medicine," said Holzgreve. To this end, the top floors of the former neurology department are to be demolished and the new level will be converted into laboratories. As reported, the disciplines of neurology, psychiatry and psychosomatics are now housed in the so-called NPP new building complex.
The former gynaecological clinic, the building dates from the 1950s, will make way for a new building that will accommodate an expected expansion of the specialist areas of breast cancer and obstetrics, among others. Since May of this year, doctors from the UKB have been treating parents and children together in the new Parent-Child Centre (Elki for short), where obstetrics and prenatal medicine, paediatric cardiology, paediatric heart surgery and other disciplines are united under one roof. The third project will be the new building for radiotherapy, which, according to Holzgreve, is contaminated. There the UKB could subsequently accommodate modern medical equipment again. "If we continue consistently in this way, I am sure that a very sustainable campus will be created on the Venusberg," said Holzgreve.
Original text: Philipp Königs
Translation: Mareike Graepel