German Health Care Prioritizing Problem

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Tue 19th Jan, 2010

Germany's Medical Association has called for a public debate on the state of the German health care system. They say a secret rationing of health care is taking place as doctors struggle to meet demand. German doctors are not always able to provide patients with the care they need due to financial constraints, according to medical chiefs in the country. The issue was raised following comments made by Joerg-Dietrich Hoppe, President of the German Medical Association, in an interview with the Sunday edition of the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper. Hoppe said it was time to talk about a possible prioritization of medical care. Patients are not always receiving optimal treatment because Germany's healthcare system sees its doctors stretched to their limits. There is simply not enough money in the healthcare coffers, according to the president of Berlin's Medical Association, Guenther Jonitz. The government has called the idea of prioritizing healthcare unethical. "It is not the task of the Health Ministry to initiate a debate over how the prescription of pharmaceuticals could be prioritized," Health Minister Philipp Roesler told a German news agency. The President of Berlin's Medical Association, Guenther Jonitz argues that the Ministry and the GKV are ignoring the reality of a situation where doctors are already having to decide whether or not a patient receives a new heart or liver transplant. The high number of patient complaints is another indicator.

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