Dentists put patients off to the next year

Dentists put patients off to the next year / Health News

Dentists put patients off to the next year. Because the health insurance budgets for dental treatments are used up, in many states the appointments will be awarded only for the next year. The victims are the insured.

With a multiplicity of legal health insurance companies the budgets for dentist treatments are already exhausted. For many health insurance patients this year could be tight, it is to be feared that they will be put off to the next year. According to the Dentistry Federation (KZBV) many dentists have already used up their budgets and have to move treatments in the next year.

Hundreds of thousands of people with statutory health insurance in Germany may not get an appointment with their dentist this year. That reports „image“ and relies on information from the national dental association (KZBV). In almost all states, dental practices would reject patients and appointments will not be given until next year. The reason for this are the already exhausted budgets for dental treatment, said the head of the Kassenzahnärtzlichen Federal Association, Jürgen Fedderwirtz. Many physicians would already treat at their own expense, in order not to have to reject their patients. Acute emergencies, such as severe toothache, will continue to be treated.

Loud „image“ insured persons of the general local health insurance funds AOK Berlin and Brandenburg as well as the federal miners in Bavaria are affected by the limited treatments. In Berlin alone, the budget was overdrawn at around 12.5 percent (7.6 million euros), although the year still lasts about two months. The AOK Berlin was calm in the face of the situation. "Emergencies must be treated in any case," says the AOK. If it is acceptable from a dental perspective, the doctors could move the treatments in the coming year, so the proposed solution proposed by the health insurance. The problem does not only affect insured persons in Berlin or Brandenburg. Even the largest part of the health insurance customers of the IKK has to expect to receive no date for a dental treatment this year.

In this context, the Kassenzahnärztliche Vereinigung in Berlin (KZV) demands higher budgets for dental treatment in the coming year to prevent such situations in the future. The Berlin Association pointed out that other AOK funds in Berlin or Baden-Württemberg simply partially replenish the budgets, so that patients can continue to be cared for. (02.11.2010, sb)

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Picture credits: Jerzy Sawluk