Healthy people go to the doctor too often

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Health insurance study: healthy people go to the doctor too often.

(16.09.2010) According to a study by the health insurance company Barmer GEK, the Germans go to the doctor too often, although there is no illness. Healthy health insurance patients go to the family doctor on average twice a quarter. Germans go to the doctor most frequently in a global comparison, and Germans go to the doctor twice a quarter, although there is no serious illness. This is the result of a health insurance study by the Barmer GEK. Every person with statutory health insurance goes to the doctor on average 18 times a year.

If you compare the data worldwide, the Germans most often go to the doctor. Only in Japan there are approximately comparable high values. On the occasion of the study results, the Barmer GEK-Kassen boss Birgit Fischer demands better control of medical outpatient care. Better control could avoid unnecessary visits to the doctor. Insured persons are classified as healthy if they do not cost the health insurers more than 100 euros, but many visits to the doctor are carried out due to serious illnesses such as hypertension, heart failure and depression. Patients with high blood pressure go to the attending doctor on average 32 times a year. Patients with depression go to the doctor about 44 times and heart failure patients need a doctor's consultation about 48 times. Dialysis patients need medical care most often, here around 200 doctor contacts were measured each year. However, according to the study results, the high base of almost eight doctor contacts per year remains striking, "which are due to patient contacts on supposedly minor occasions," as the health insurance fund reports.

The annual average expenditure of a health insurance patient with about 4 illnesses is 6,400 euros. In view of these figures, the Barmer chairwoman Birgit Fischer showed no understanding for the protests of the general practitioners. The superfluous doctor visits could be counteracted by the family doctor contracts. However, these contracts should not only be negotiated by the general practitioners' association. Because that would give the association a strong market power. "We need an alliance for health. It doesn't help if individual groups agree on individual interests." The Federal Minister of Health wants to limit the increasing additional income for doctors through family doctor contracts. The General Practitioners' Association protests against this with protest events and practice closings. However, the doctors earn an average of around 164,000 euros a year. Fee increases in recent years have been particularly pronounced in northern Germany. For example, doctors in Hamburg saw increases of around 24 percent.

But the visits of supposedly healthy people are not only critically discussed in conventional medicine. In naturopathy, which is often referred to as "holistic", there are also more and more efforts by therapists with naturopathic treatments to treat only people with symptoms and other diagnoses in symptom-free people, such as posture and dietary information, not to be treated. (sb)

Also read:
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Insured persons should be paid for medical expenses

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