Fee reform: doctors earned more in 2009

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Fee reform: Doctors earned more in 2009: The head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV) Andreas Köhler has confirmed that the fees of doctors in private practice in Germany increased by 3.4 billion instead of 2.5 billion in 2009.

For 2010 a further 1.7 billion euros have been negotiated. Doctors in private practice in Germany treat an average of 45 patients per working day according to the 2010 Medical Report by the Barmer GEK and have about eight minutes for one patient.

At the beginning of the fee reform, some groups of doctors feared that there would be losses. Because of this, there were isolated so-called doctors' strikes and protest rallies. This has not happened now and the fees have increased. Köhler even told WELT ONLINE that he "had never carried out a remuneration reform" "in which there were so many winners".

However, the health insurance chief rejected WELT ONLINE a fee freeze for doctors. He doesn't see any leeway here. He promised Federal Health Minister Philipp Rösler (FDP) to provide support for cost containment in the German health system to the extent that he saw the doctors share responsibility for spending on remedies, aids and medicines.

After the publication of its doctor's report in 2010, the Barmer GEK announced that the health insurance companies, the family doctor associations and the statutory health insurance associations should develop a joint approach to improve the situation.

In view of the thinning financial situation in the health care system, observers are eagerly awaiting the next steps from the Federal Minister of Health. They are concerned about whether he will be able to lower the contribution costs for the bulk of the insured while at the same time improving medical care.

Many people are already protecting themselves by combining statutory health insurance protection plus private supplementary insurance, as the additional payments for them are becoming more and more numerous. Especially in the field of dental insurance, the growth rates have increased enormously in recent years. Should the level of care drop even further, this trend will continue.

In view of the statements made by KBV boss Köhler, the doctors will certainly be made responsible for the rising costs again. But they are not responsible for the restructuring of the health system. The reasons for the growing costs are multifaceted and complex. It doesn't help to keep looking at the numbers.

The work in health care should be characterized less by hierarchical structures. In addition, the professional groups should work together better across all classes: E.g. Orthopedists in the case of functional complaints with osteopathic therapists or surgeons with the subsequent treating physiotherapist. The further expanding system of medical care centers (MVZ), reminiscent of the former polyclinics, with doctors from several disciplines under one roof, is a sensible measure.

In some cases, the work should be better rewarded and respected. Midwives and nurses are an often underpaid professional group.

The driving force behind the measures should be better care for patients for those active in the medical sector and health politicians. The economic benefit of individual measures and certain occupational groups should come second and be more homogeneous in the future. (Thorsten Fischer, naturopath osteopathy, 02/03/2010)

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