The federal government is supporting hospitals and nursing homes in view of the increased energy prices with an aid program worth billions.

"The rising energy costs will not endanger the operation of the hospitals," said Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) on Saturday of the German Press Agency.

"No hospital has to close its doors because energy is too expensive."

Specifically, eight billion euros are available for an aid program, in addition to the planned gas and electricity price brake.

The cabinet decided on this and the aid program for hospitals and nursing homes on Friday.

The clinics and homes have few opportunities to save on energy costs, it said.

There are therefore six billion euros for clinics and two billion euros for nursing homes.

For the hospital fund, funds from the Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF) are allocated by the federal government, and there are also funds from the WSF for nursing homes.

The programs each run until April 2024. Additional costs for the purchase of natural gas, district heating and electricity are to be reimbursed.

The draft for an amendment to the Hospital Financing Act states that hospitals and inpatient care facilities are of outstanding importance for public services of general interest.

"Against this background, measures that can be implemented quickly are required to maintain the functionality of these facilities, which is severely endangered by rising energy prices."