Consumer advocate calls for patient receipts

Consumer advocates advocate patient receipts.

(31.07.2010) The chairman of the Federal Association of Consumer Organizations, Gerd Billen, has demanded patient receipts that are issued after each visit to the doctor. With such a receipt, patients should be able to check exactly which services have been carried out by the treating doctor.

The background to this demand is likely to be the ongoing scandals about incorrectly billed services by doctors. These costs cause the health insurances to amount to millions every year. However, the patient receipts should not only be used to monitor doctors, but also create a new awareness of patients. Citizens should receive a detailed overview of applications, examinations and drug prescriptions. Those with statutory health insurance would have a better overview of what the individual medical services actually cost. This is what the head of the Billen consumer organization said in an interview with the German daily "Rheinische Post". Because many patients do not know how much costs they actually cause. A receipt from the doctor would ensure transparency, according to Billen. On average, each insured person causes an average of 3,000 euros a year in treatment costs.

In addition, Billen suggested reducing the number of doctors in metropolitan areas. Because the more doctors there are, the more doctor visits would take place. The top consumer advocate also criticized the fact that there are many doctors in affluent areas, but that there is a real undersupply in the country. Billen told the RP: "It is absurd that most of the doctors are sitting in the districts where the wealthy people live. On the other hand, the medical associations and professional associations do not make it for better coverage in rural areas. We urgently need a different control system. " (sb)

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