Health insurance against general practitioners strike

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Health insurance companies criticize general practitioner strike

(10.08.2010) The General Practitioners Association wants to make serious, the first actions against the health care reform are already planned. September is to begin. On this day there will be a nationwide protest and tens of thousands of doctor's offices will remain closed. The doctors' planned actions are not only provoking fierce criticism from the ranks of the federal government. The health insurance companies also criticize the planned closings of general practitioners' offices. The strike will be carried out at the patient's expense.

Protest against planned fee cuts by family doctors. The German General Practitioners Association announced to the medical newspaper that it would start the first campaigns against the austerity measures at the medical fees at the end of August. Initially, practice closures are to take place at the local level from the end of August to the end of September. In addition, nationwide protest events are to be held. A nationwide campaign is to be undertaken on September 15, according to the medical association. The 33rd German General Practitioners' Day will then take place one day later.

Sharp criticism from health insurers and the federal government.
The statutory health insurance companies have no understanding of the planned doctors' strikes. Deputy Barmer boss Rolf Ulrich Schlenke criticized the medical strike as "out of place". Also for the chairman of the German employee health insurance DAK, Herbert Rebscher, the doctor protests are "not understandable". Rebscher believes that the protest will be carried out on the back of patients in order to assert professional interests. After all, all those involved in the health care system are affected by the austerity measures, so you cannot exclude a professional group, said the DAK boss.

The health spokesman for the Union Group also showed no understanding of the planned protests. Jens Spahn (CDU) criticized that the general practitioners' association had "misunderstood". Although it is the good right of doctors to protest and assert their interests, everyone involved in the health system must make their contribution to stabilization. After all, a billion deficit in the health fund is expected for the coming year. According to Spahn, doctors and general practitioners should also save.

Why do the general practitioners protest?
The doctors are on strike against the planned cuts in the special allowances for family doctor contracts. According to the will of the Federal Minister of Health Philipp Rösler (FDP), around 500 million euros should be saved in this area alone. This means that medical fees should initially not continue to rise.

The family doctor association accuses the black and yellow coalition of wanting to leverage the "family doctor model". “General practitioner-centered care” was introduced in 2007 to make general practitioners the first point of contact for patients. The family doctor coordinates all treatment steps and issues referrals for specialists. The so-called family doctor model was introduced in order to minimize unnecessary visits to specialists, so that the treatment of patients is more tailored. The "family doctor-centered care" is described in § 73b SGB V.

Roessler recently assured that he did not want to touch the family doctor model. However, the Minister of Health wants to ensure that all family doctors are treated equally, regardless of whether a doctor has already signed a family doctor contract or not. The General Practitioners Association wants to protest against this new regulation. (sb)

Also read:
Rössler warns doctors about the closure of practices
Health insurers are asking for the contributions to be increased
Hospital doctors: warning strikes on Monday

Author and source information

Video: Doctors Strike: Reality of Problems faced by Doctors and Patients. Analysis by Dhruv Rathee

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