Health insurance patients wait longer for a doctor's appointment

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Study: health insurance patients have to wait longer for a doctor's appointment

Health insurance patients have to wait significantly longer for an appointment with a doctor than privately insured persons - a topic that repeatedly makes headlines and has now been confirmed again by a new study commissioned by the Greens' spokeswoman for consumer affairs in the Bundestag, Nicole Maisch.

Study with 470 specialist practices As part of the representative study, according to a current press release on, around 470 specialist practices from eight different medical areas were tested throughout Hesse, with experts in skin, eyes and the ear, nose and throat area , Neurology, cardiology, radiology, gastroenterology and orthopedics. Each practice was called twice in February and March this year to make an appointment, with the callers posing as insured patients at one time and privately insured at another.

Statutory insured people wait 20 days longer than privately insured persons According to hr-iNFO, the Greens' test showed a clear result: on average, legally insured persons have to wait 20 days longer for an appointment with a specialist than privately insured persons - a situation that shows the Greens that there is an urgent need for action : "Artificial two-class medicine disadvantages the patients at the box office and has to be abolished," said Green Party consumer spokeswoman for the Greens in the Bundestag, Nicole Maisch.

The investigation had shown that Hessian health insurance patients had to wait an average of 36 days for an appointment with a specialist, while privately insured patients only had to be patient for 16 days. However, there were clear regional differences: While the difference in Wiesbaden was only 11 days, patients in Hanau have to be prepared to wait around 36 days longer. However, the testers were not confronted with such strong differences in all practices - in every fourth practice there was little or no difference.

Darmstadt ophthalmologist sets negative record The absolute negative record was set by an ophthalmologist from Darmstadt: Here, an insured patient would have had to wait a year for an appointment, whereas a private insured person would have been accepted after 44 days. But the Darmstadt ophthalmologist is not an isolated case, because according to Maisch there are sometimes big differences between the specialties: "It takes a long time for an ophthalmologist, for cardiologists or internists the differences between statutory and privately insured are not that big," said the politician in an interview with hr-online.

Bad economic incentives Reason for different treatment of patients According to Maisch, responsible for the unequal treatment of health insurance and private patients are "bad economic incentives in the system". Therefore, the politician calls for a common citizens' insurance for all patients instead of the current separation of statutory and private. On the other hand, according to hr-iNFO, there is no inequality in the treatment of patients for the Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Hessen (KV) - according to KV spokesman Matthias Roth, there are service differences here and there, but "differences in the quality of outpatient medicine and care "There is no such thing." Roth sees the reason for the differences in service in the cost pressure that the practices would be exposed to, since outpatient medicine has been underfunded for years. Because of this, medical professionals would have to balance the treatment of insured patients with private patients some of the office hours are reserved for privately insured persons in advance. (no)

Also read:
Health insurance patients wait 16 days longer
Health insurance patients wait longer for doctor's appointments
Doctor's appointments: health insurance patients are disadvantaged
Separation of PKV and GKV a phase-out model?

Image: Gerd Altmann, Pixelio

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