[Prioritisation in the German health care system--an issue in ophthalmology?]

Klin Monbl Augenheilkd. 2009 Mar;226(3):154-60. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1109173. Epub 2009 Mar 17.
[Article in German]


At the 111th German Medical Assembly in May 2008 in Ulm, Germany, a public debate on rationing of health care performances was started. Since the money in the German health care system is not enough to provide every diagnostic or therapy for every patient as a coverage of the compulsory medical insurances, a lot of specific health care performances have been rationed during the last years not to be covered by the regular medical insurance any more, such as, e. g., PSA measurements in urology or IOP measurements in ophthalmology. In contrast to the health care system in Scandinavia, where rationing of health care performances is publicly documented by the government, no similar public statements exist in Germany. Due to this, it is left to physicians to explain to their patients the "hidden" rationing of public health care performances, which also leads to an increase in individual health care performances (IGeL in Germany) to be paid for privately by the patient. It is undoubtedly true that not all medically possible performances need to be paid for by the health insurance; however, an official determination of these "out of pocket" health care performances is necessary. Therefore, it was the aim herein to work out possible "stop" criteria--according to the Scandinavian system--for common eye diseases and consecutive therapies, which need not be paid for or only be paid after a delay by the health insurances.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Germany
  • Health Care Rationing / economics*
  • Health Care Rationing / trends*
  • Health Priorities / organization & administration*
  • Health Services Accessibility / organization & administration*
  • National Health Programs / organization & administration*
  • Ophthalmology / economics*