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29. September 2011, Koblenz

Medical care structures: Still no solution?

Survey: Most German physicians think the new law is questionable

Koblenz, September 29, 2011: After long discussions the Bundeskabinett finally passed a bill on medical care structure in August which is to improve medical care in structurally weak regions. However, Germany’s physicians are skeptical towards the bill: One in two (49.5 percent) doubts, that this will solve the problem in physicians’ shortage. 8 in 10 physicians (81.6 percent) do not expect the new regulation to provide any advantages. This is the outcome of the latest CGM Health Monitor.

‚Medical care in close vicinity, for all citizens, also in the underserved rural areas’ - these are headwords that have recently been dominating the healthcare policy. While a corresponding bill had already been discussed at the time Philipp Rösler was Federal Minister of Health, his successor Daniel Bahr passed the controversial scheme last month. Though the medical care structure law is supposed to support the physicians, the anticipated cheers from physicians’ side are missing.

Physicians not confident of the bill
How can outpatient medical care be ensured throughout Germany? The resolution provides a whole package of measures to attract more physicians to the countryside: Incentives in the yet inflexible remuneration system, an improved compatibility of family and career and a more flexible cooperation between hospital- and resident physicians. In spite of the promising formulations of the bill, only few German physicians expect tangible advantages to their everyday practice. At least just over one in ten physicians (11.4 percent) anticipates the highly propagandized improved medical care for patients. Only 4.1 percent expect the physician’s profession to be strengthened while varnishing 2.7 percent bank on reduced bureaucracy. One in eight physicians (81.6 percent) does not expect any benefit in these points.

Physicians shortage in spite of cash infusions?
Especially the plan of attracting physicians by means of pecuniary incentives has led to massive political controversies. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) emphasized the imponderable additional costs that would occur. Beyond that, the German physicians are divided over the question whether money is a sensible bait to motivate physicians to work in the country. While one half (50.7 percent) welcomes the approach, the other one (48.9 percent) takes the opposite view.

In spite of the incentives, every second physician (49.5 percent) does not expect the medical care structure law to thwart physician shortage and objects the bill. Only one in ten physicians (10.5 %) approves the new regulation and believes medical care will be ensured in all regions throughout Germany. A third of the respondents (36.1 percent) has not come to a final opinion.

Rösler or Bahr - No difference?
The medical care structure bill is Daniel Bahr’s first capital work of law though the German physicians are apparently sparsely impressed by the grand words Rösler’s young successor has adopted: Only one in 10 physicians (10.7 percent) thought he was convincing. Almost a third (31.4 percent) holds the view that Daniel Bahr had not cut a good figure with the scheme. Half of the questioned (49.5 percent) does not see any difference in Bahr’s appearance compared to his predecessors.

The CGM GesundheitsMONITOR:
The CGM GesundheitsMONITOR is a joint initiative of CompuGroup Medical, the Medical Tribune and the Rhein-Zeitung. They perform representative monthly surveys of 440 general practitioners with regard to current issues in the healthcare system. You can download free printable graphs and find publications as well as information about the representative survey at www.cgm-gesundheitsmonitor.de.

About CompuGroup Medical AG
CompuGroup Medical is one of the leading eHealth companies in the world. Its software products are designed to support all medical and organizational activities in doctors’ offices, pharmacies and hospitals. Its information services for all parties involved in the healthcare system and its web-based personal health records contribute towards safer and more efficient healthcare. CompuGroup Medical’s services are based on a unique customer base of over 385,000 doctors, dentists, hospitals, pharmacies and networks as well as other service providers. With locations in 20 countries and customers in 34 countries worldwide, CompuGroup Medical is the eHealth company with one of the highest coverage among eHealth service providers. Approximately 3,600 highly qualified employees support customers with innovative solutions for the steadily growing demands of the healthcare system.

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