David Thies, CEO of a county hospital in the Ex-GDR province of Thuringia, sets out to build the hospital of the future. But then an international health crisis hits.



David-Ruben Thies is the CEO of Waldkliniken Eisenberg, a county hospital in the province of Thuringia, former GDR. The hospital, which can accommodate up to 250 patients and has enjoyed a good reputation in the past, is by now rarely at full capacity. To justify its continued existence, some truly radical steps would have to be taken, so David set out to do just that.


He looked at hospitals worldwide, studied every detail and came up with a plan for a new hospital ward: the German Centre for Orthopaedics. The ward is designed as a comfortable patient hotel, where organic food is served and where everyone is treated as a guest, regardless of the type of health insurance they have. A place where innovative care concepts are combined with attention to privacy, safety and improved working conditions for the staff. It’s an ambitious plan, but David is a pioneer, one who wants to set standards. Though not everyone shares his ambitions. The way to the hospital of the future is rife with obstacles: Decision makers, colleagues, doctors and political circumstances get in the way and we watch David being stretched to his absolute limits. However, there is one obstacle nobody has anticipated: In 2020, David’s crusade is cut short by a worldwide pandemic.


The completion of the new ward is uncertain, the planned opening ceremony with Angela Merkel has been canceled. Instead, short-time work is introduced together with the looming threat of bankruptcy. Whether David will reach his goal or fail halfway through isn‘t clear yet. On the wall behind his desk is the latest testimony of a German newspaper study: “Germany’s best hospital” – what will it be worth in the future?


Director & Author: Antje Schneider
Director of Photography: Carsten Waldbauer
Line Producer: Bianca Laschalt
Producer: Stefan Kloos
Production: Kloos & Co. Ost Leipzig
In co-production with: ZDF / Das kleine Fernsehspiel
Commissioning Editor: Christian Cloos
Supported by: MDM – Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung 
World Sales: Rise and Shine World Sales


Documentary in production, Germany (ca. 90 min.) 

Director: Antje Schneider
Production: Kloos & Co. Ost Leipzig
World Sales: Rise and Shine World Sales


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As part of the „Fifty-Fifty“ Agreement