Redundant examinations and operations

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Redundant examinations and operations

The German health system is repeatedly criticized. In an interview with the "Bild" newspaper, the chief executive of Techniker Krankenkasse commented on unnecessary treatments, a possible end to private insurance and the ripping off of the so-called "GOUDA" doctors.

Additional contributions again? At the moment, the statutory health insurance companies in Germany are doing well. The Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) is so good that it will distribute half a billion euros in surplus to its insured members this year, said TK CEO Jens Baas in the “Bild” newspaper on Tuesday. Since the state has increased the contribution rate, about 28 billion euros are currently in the healthcare system. According to Baas, however, the situation will change by 2015 at the latest: "Then expenditure will rise more strongly than income." He concludes: "Many health insurance funds will have to introduce additional contributions again in order to survive."

End of private insurance? Baas is campaigning for a reform of the insurance market: "We need a single market with fair competition - that would be the end of private insurance in its current form." The statutory health insurance companies would then have to pay higher fees for doctors. It cannot go on with these parallel worlds of private and statutory health insurers. Acting Federal Minister of Health Daniel Bahr sees things quite differently. In the discussion about the abolition of private health insurance at the annual conference of the "Association of Private Health Insurance", he again "strongly advocated the coexistence of private and statutory health insurance", the information said on the association's website.

Two-tier society Almost one in four legally insured persons (24 percent) has to wait more than three weeks for an appointment with a specialist, a survey of insured persons by the research group elections showed. In the case of privately insured people, it is only five percent. "We have a strange two-tier society in Germany," said Baas. The fees of the statutory health insurance companies make up the bulk of the income from a doctor's office, but: "As a privately insured person, you will get an appointment faster." Baas went on to explain: "If a doctor earns more from private patients, it may be that he gets it preferred for appointments. "

Unnecessary treatments These circumstances often result in unnecessary examinations and operations. Cardiac catheter examinations are at the top. "Here Germany is world champion." Operations on the musculoskeletal system such as the hip or back operations are also strongly affected. According to an older survey by the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), 80 percent of operations due to back pain are unnecessary. “The TK offers a second opinion process. The result was that in 80 percent of the cases the second doctor did not consider a planned operation necessary. ”

Rip-off by "GOUDA" doctors According to Baas, a rip-off when visiting a doctor can affect everyone. The TK boss also knows which doctors are the most eager to collect money: "Doctors who very often bill self-pay services have the nickname 'GOUDA' among their colleagues." What is meant: gynecologists, orthopedists, urologists, dermatologists and ophthalmologists. (ad)

Image: Martin Büdenbender /

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