Economically speaking, accident and emergency units are often loss-making departments in hospitals. However, a 24-hour access to inpatient and ambulatory emergency services for patients, who are suffering from acute health issues, is an essential medical service for the population. In order for accident and emergency departments to consistently maintain high quality standards nationwide, even in the face of dwindling resources and geodemographic changes, a complete reorientation in hospital development is necessary. Besides the introduction of nationwide standardised accessibility and quality specifications, air rescue and telemedicine are in need of further development. These provisions could not only preserve the qualitative security of patient care but even enhance it, especially in rural areas.