Can doctors be antisocial

Unsocial and unjust

"Unsocial and unjust"

Hessen-Caritas calls for the practice fee to be abolished immediately

Fulda / Limburg / Mainz - May 24, 2012

Hessen-Caritas advocates the immediate and permanent abolition of the controversial practice fee: "The fee is socially unjust, economically senseless and causes bureaucratic chaos," is how the chairman of Hessen-Caritas, Thomas Domnick, sums up the current situation. The omission of the fee must also take place independently of the current record surpluses of the statutory health insurance funds, according to Domnick, because the so often vaunted control effect of the practice fee is not demonstrable.

The fee should not only consolidate the finances of the statutory health insurance but also strengthen the personal responsibility of the insured and relieve doctors. So far, however, the fee has not had a controlling effect. Those with a high income visit a doctor just as often as they did before the fee was introduced, but the fee has a deterrent effect on poor people: visits to the doctor are postponed or avoided, which can delay diseases or become chronic. "For recipients of unemployment benefit II and basic security, the fee is not only annoying as it is for all those with statutory health insurance, but it often represents an existential problem," says Domnick, who is also chairman of the Association of Catholic Hospitals in Hesse.

"Even the additional payments made by those with statutory health insurance for pharmaceuticals and the additional contribution rate of 0.9 percent levied in 2005, which only has to be paid by those with statutory health insurance, have undermined the equal contribution financing - actually a basic principle of social insurance," says Dr. Hejo Manderscheid, Diocesan Caritas Director from Limburg and member of the board of Hessen-Caritas. The practice fee is part of this desolidarization in the health care system. His colleague on the board, diocesan charity director Dr. Markus Juch from Fulda insists on a quick solution, especially for disadvantaged people: "Two-class medicine for poor and rich people, which begins with the question of a doctor's visit, cannot exist in Germany." Caritas not only demanded the quick abolition of the fee, but also the setting of the course for permanent equal financing and thus for a fairly organized and unbureaucratic health system in Germany.

If you have any questions, please contact the managing director of the Working Group on Catholic Hospitals in Hesse, Mr Connemann, on 06431 / 997-150 or the e-mail address [email protected]