Germans are afraid of their old age insurance



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Most people in Germany are afraid of inadequate care in old age

Most Germans are concerned about their old-age insurance and the development of the health system. On behalf of the financial services provider MLP, the Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach has carried out a representative survey on the provision of old age for Germans and the performance of the health system. The pollsters found that the majority of insured people in this country have great concerns about health care in old age.

More than three quarters (77 percent) of those surveyed assume that their own preventive measures through statutory long-term care insurance will not be sufficient to secure medical care as a case of care in old age. The doctors surveyed also have massive doubts here. Around 80 percent of medical professionals are convinced that patient protection is not sufficient for nursing needs. Doctors also see the lack of doctors as a serious problem today, which raises doubts about the security of medical care in individual regions.

Trend towards two-class medicine In total, the Institute for Demoscopy Allensbach surveyed 2,262 insured persons as part of the current health report and found out that around half of Germans have significant concerns about their own financial security should they become nursing care in the future. Most respondents also expect health care costs to rise significantly over the next ten years. According to the latest survey, 79 percent of the insured surveyed expect further increases in premiums for statutory health insurance to be expected, and 73 percent expect further reforms in the healthcare system. The survey participants also see clear tendencies towards a type of two-class medicine, with the patient on the one hand and the private patient on the other. In view of the recent study carried out by the Mannheim Research Group on behalf of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV), this presumption seems to be entirely justified, since those insured by law actually waited much longer for an appointment than private patients. In the current survey by the Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach, 79 percent of those surveyed are convinced that the trend is moving more and more towards two-class medicine. Many insured (61 percent) also assume that medical practices will reach their capacity limits in the course of demographic change and that patients will therefore have problems making appointments.

Doctors warn of an underestimated shortage of doctors The growing burden in medical practices was also confirmed by the 522 doctors surveyed by the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy. Around two thirds of the doctors (65 percent) were convinced that there is already a shortage of doctors in Germany today. 23 percent expect this for the coming years. However, the doctors see clear regional differences. Medical care is assessed much more critically in some eastern German states than in most regions of western Germany. Overall, 70 percent of doctors were convinced that politicians are currently underestimating the problem of the shortage of doctors and its effects. Numerous doctors also viewed the assumption of costs in the statutory health insurance fund critically. For example, 60 percent of doctors stated that they had previously postponed treatment for budgetary reasons to a later date. 16 percent of the doctors stressed that this was the case with them even more frequently.

Regional differences in medical care Both the doctors surveyed and the insured see significant regional differences in medical care. Some states, such as Saxony and Berlin, scored extremely positively (over 80 percent were satisfied with health care here), whereas the assessment in other states, such as Thuringia (52 percent satisfaction), was quite critical. According to the survey by the Institute for Demoscopy Allensbach, people in the metropolitan areas tend to be more satisfied with health care than in the structurally weak and sparsely populated regions. The obvious exception is, according to the institute, the state of Brandenburg, where 79 percent of residents rate health care positively. The experts cite the proximity to Berlin as the reason for the high level of satisfaction. The medical services in the capital would also be used by patients from the surrounding area. As a result, the waiting rooms for doctors in the outskirts of Berlin are often overcrowded. As a result, patients may have to wait longer for an appointment, but the satisfaction of Berliners with regional health care remains largely unaffected. According to the current study, 69 percent of the 104 Berliners questioned have no problems with waiting times at the doctor, and arranging appointments is also not a problem for them. However, 31 percent were annoyed that they had to accept long waiting times with the doctor when making appointments in the past, and sometimes waited longer in the waiting room despite an appointment.

Population satisfied with the quality of health care In Germany, however, satisfaction with the quality of health care is quite positive. 72 percent of the respondents rated the care as “good” or “very good” and only 26 percent described it as “less good” or “not good at all”. Accordingly, satisfaction with health services has increased by around eight percent (from 64 to 72 percent) compared to the last study by the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy on behalf of the financial service provider MLP. However, respondents' current concerns are primarily about the future of the health care system and not the current quality of care. (fp)

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Healthcare no future viability?

Image: Gerd Altmann / pixelio.de

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