Friday, October 7, 2016

On the Topic of Emergency Rooms in Germany

Last night, ZDF (state-run) ran a news piece on a spiraling problem in Germany....emergency rooms that are overflowing with customers.

For about eight minutes, they ran through around a dozen patients, and at least twenty doctors and administrators.  What they indicate is that there are lots of people who show up now with minor health issues which don't really qualify as emergency situations.  So many.....that real patients with life-threatening problems are not being seen in time, and their quality of care is marginalized.

It's the same issue which exists in the US now.

The German answer?  What they are quietly discussing is the idea of charging the patient at the door when he enters 20-Euro ($24).  Right now, you produce your health insurance card and you get access, with no fee attached.

Would the 20-Euro fee change thing? I doubt it.  Most people, except the Hartz-IV (welfare crowd) will pay the money.

But I suspect that this 20-Euro fee is simply to get you to accept the idea, and there's going to be a 60-Euro fee within five years.  At 60-Euro....I suspect that 20-percent of the crowd would change their mind and try to see their regular doctor.  Maybe by 2025, the fee might even hit 100-Euro, and at least half of the people might react the way you expect.

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