Dentists put patients off for next year

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Dentists put patients off for next year. Because the health insurance budgets for dental treatment have been used up, in many federal states the appointments will only be made for the next year. The victims are the insured.

The budgets for dental treatment have already been used up in a large number of statutory health insurance funds. It could be tight for many health insurance patients this year, and there is a fear that they will be put off for the next year. According to the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Dentists (KZBV), many dentists have already used up their budgets and would have to postpone treatments until the next year.

Hundreds of thousands of people with statutory health insurance in Germany may no longer get an appointment with their dentist this year. The "Bild" reports and relies on information from the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Dentists (KZBV). In almost all federal states, dental practices would reject patients and appointments would only be made for the next year. The reason for this is the already used budgets for dentist treatments, according to Jürgen Fedderwirtz, the head of the Federal Association of Statutory Health Insurance Dentists. Many medical professionals would treat themselves at their own expense so as not to have to reject their patients. Acute emergencies, such as severe toothache, will continue to be treated.

According to the "picture", the insured persons affected by the general local health insurance companies AOK Berlin and Brandenburg and the federal miners' association in Bavaria are particularly affected by the restricted treatments. In Berlin alone, the budget was overdrawn by around 12.5 percent (EUR 7.6 million), although the year still lasts about two months. AOK Berlin was relaxed about the situation. "Emergencies must always be treated," said the AOK. If it is justifiable from a dental point of view, the doctors could postpone the treatments to the coming year, according to the supposed solution proposed by the health insurance company. The problem does not only affect insured persons in Berlin or Brandenburg. The majority of the patients of the IKK guild health insurance company also have to reckon with not having an appointment for dental treatment this year.

In this context, the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Dentists in Berlin (KZV) is demanding higher budgets for dental treatment in the coming year in order to prevent such situations in the future. The Berlin Association pointed out that other AOK health insurers in Berlin or Baden-Württemberg simply replenish some of the budgets so that patients can continue to be cared for. (02.11.2010, sb)

Also read:
Dentist treatments at risk for AOK patients?
Dentists: rip off teeth cleaning?
Mouthwashes clean interdental spaces

Photo credit: Jerzy Sawluk /

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