Too few doctors in Germany
Health report revealed: Lack of physicians now a reality
The majority of physicians agree: There are now too few doctors in Germany. This is the result of the current „MLP Health Report“ of the Institute for Demoscopy Allensbach on behalf of the financial services provider MLP, which was presented on Wednesday in Berlin.
Medical shortage nationwide real problem
According to the report, for 65 percent of clinicians the shortage of doctors is no longer a gloomy prognosis, but has become a real problem nationwide. However, not only the clinicians think so - 56 percent of physicians across the medical profession share this view, an increase of ten percent compared to 2010.
Especially in terms of regional care, the doctors are increasing
Concerned: According to a recent press release of the MLP AG, 37 percent of general practitioners recognize it „already a shortage of physicians on site (2010: 22 percent). Another 28 percent expect it in the next few years.“
New Länder more affected than the West
The physicians surveyed see a massive deterioration here, especially in the eastern federal states: Already 54 percent of doctors in the East report a shortage of doctors in their region, while in the west, this is currently only 35 percent. In addition, there would be significant deterioration from the perspective of the doctors „in structurally and demographically weaker regions: 58 percent of physicians in private practice in areas with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants already complain of a shortage of doctors on the ground (2010: 31 percent)“, reports MLP.
Patients complain about long waiting times in practices
But not only the doctors complain that there is an increasing shortage of colleagues - the negative development is also clearly noticeable for the patients, especially with regard to waiting times: just under two-thirds (64%) of the patients say they spend a long time in the waiting room 52 per cent also complain that they had to wait in advance for a very long time for an appointment.
Especially among those insured by the law, the report reveals a growing dissatisfaction: Here, 67 percent of the cash patients said they had sat in the waiting room for a very long time despite an appointment - whereas only 48 percent of private patients could share this experience. And also in the appointment, the report seems to have the cash patients to muster much more patience: So reported 55 percent of great difficulty, as soon as possible to get an appointment, which was true for the privately insured only to 35 percent.
Physician deficiency also clearly noticeable in clinics
However, according to the report, the shortage of doctors does not only mean longer waiting times in medical practices. Many patients also notice a negative trend in day-to-day clinical practice: 57 percent of citizens are concerned that clinicians have less and less time for the individual patient. In addition, one in four respondents said that fewer visits to clinics in recent years had led to fewer doctors and specialists, and almost one in two (46%) experienced an additional shortage of nurses.
Doctors and patients see a clear need for reform in the care sector
According to the report, another negative trend is seen in the provision of care: Here, 40 percent of the doctors surveyed and 39 percent of the population see a deterioration in the quality of the past two to three years - which, however, is a better result compared to the last health report from 2011 represents. For at that time still 43 percent of the physicians and 47 percent of the citizens had complained of quality losses.
According to MLP AG, this improved assessment is also reflected in decreasing criticism of the government: „42 percent of the population (2011: 55 percent) do not have a good impression of health policy. On the other hand, a constant medical majority of more than 71 percent (2011: 72 percent) of the government continues to bear a bad testimony. 60 percent of them are in doubt as to whether policies can ensure good health care for all in the long term - however, recruitment has improved significantly in comparison to previous years (81 percent in 2010)“, so the MLP in their press release.
The need for reform in the health care sector is still assessed as fairly high by both sides: while 47 percent of the population (2009: 65 percent) believe that something urgently needs to be done by politics, doctors even see it as 73 percent (2009: 81 percent) %) urgent need for action.
Overall, high satisfaction with the health service
But the report, for which 2100 Germans and more than 500 physicians were interviewed, has not only negative news: 82 percent and 93 percent of doctors are satisfied with the overall performance of the healthcare system. (Sb)
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Picture credits: Gerd Altmann