Health insurance funds are calling for reforms for general practitioners

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Health insurance companies: more family doctors and better pay

There are fewer and fewer general practitioners in Germany. In rural areas in particular, there could be deficits in patient care in the future. This is pointed out by the GKV umbrella association. The health insurers are therefore calling for a restructuring of medical studies by focusing more on general medicine. According to the umbrella organization, there is on the one hand too few general practitioners, but on the other hand there is an excess among specialists in Germany.

National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV): too few general practitioners are being trained in Germany According to the central association, the type of medical studies, the low wages compared to specialists and the planning of doctors mean that the number of general practitioners continues to decrease. The National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV) also expects a shortage of general practitioners in the future. By 2020, around 51,000 doctors in Germany would retire, emphasizes outgoing KBV head Andreas Köhler. Among them also many family doctors. About 40 percent of the resident doctors are still working as general practitioners, reports the head association. In 2012, however, only 11 percent of all specialist qualifications were made in the field of general medicine. The shortage of general practitioners of tomorrow is already mapped out.

“Far too few general practitioners are trained in Germany. Here, the federal states did not do a good job with university education and medical self-administration in the organization of further education as well as in the structuring of requirements planning and admission law, ”criticizes the vice-head of the central association, Johann-Magnus von Stackelberg. "We demand that training at universities will give primary care to primary care in the future and that medical self-administration will not only rely on an increasing number of specialists."

According to a KVB spokesman, the federal association currently assumes 2,600 vacant general practitioner and 2,000 free specialist seats. However, these numbers are to be seen purely arithmetically, since in the Federal Republic of Germany, all planning districts shown in the official doctor's planning should be filled to 110 percent, the health insurers say. There is only a shortage of 100 general practitioners to close the current, actual supply gap.

In order to meet this with sufficient general practitioners in the future, more space for general medicine must urgently be created in medical studies. The generalists would also have to be given more support in the planning of doctors and the fees paid to general practitioners would have to be improved in comparison to specialists.

Health insurance funds call for new guidelines for doctor's fees The umbrella organization sees a great problem in the guidelines for fee increases for doctors, as the increasing burden of sickness on the population affects pay. The greater the need for treatment, the higher the fee. In addition, more or more serious diagnoses also lead to an overall increase in the fee that health insurance companies pay to the medical profession. According to the umbrella organization, however, the diagnostic body differs in part from reality. According to the medical diagnoses, the number of diabetics must increase by eight percent annually. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), however, there was only an increase of two percent. “It is totally unacceptable if diagnoses are overstated to get more medical fees. It has been shown that the diagnoses written down by the doctors themselves are not a suitable basis for increasing the medical remuneration. Legislators must create new conditions here, ”von Stackelberg demands.

Frank Ulrich Montgomery, President of the German Medical Association, rejected the allegations and accused the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds of distraction from their own inaction. (ag)

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