There will be no merger of the university hospitals in Heidelberg and Mannheim for the time being.

That was decided by the green-black state government in Baden-Württemberg.

Two years ago, Ingo Autenrieth, the Medical Director of the Heidelberg University Hospital, presented a merger concept that would make both university hospitals larger than the Charité and as influential in international competition as Boston or Toronto.

State Secretary Florian Hassler (Greens) said that the government had now found a "solution" with the formation of a "clinic network".

This association is a long way from a merger: the loss-making University Hospital Mannheim will remain under municipal sponsorship, and a merger of the two faculties is not planned.

How the 1.5 billion euro new clinic building for the Mannheim clinic is to be financed has yet to be clarified.

There is no majority in the state government for financing the ten-year merger process with additional funds from the state budget.

Science politicians are of the opinion that only an alliance of the university hospitals in Frankfurt, Mainz, Mannheim and Heidelberg would be helpful in international competition.

For the Green Science Minister Theresia Bauer, who is applying for the position of mayor of Heidelberg in autumn, the decision is a defeat, because last but not least the rector of Heidelberg University, Bernhard Eitel, had vehemently advocated the merger - also with the argument that the healthcare industry and the life sciences must become new key sectors because the future of the automotive industry is uncertain.

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