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Survey: Confidence in the German health care system is declining
A large survey recently showed a new trend in healthcare. Apparently more and more Germans are losing confidence in our healthcare system. By contrast, trust in the pharmaceutical industry is increasing. Experts see the reason for the loss of trust in the lack of innovations that are already standard in other countries.
In international comparison, the German healthcare system is far behind in terms of technological development. The leading auditing and consulting firm PwC comes to this assessment. For the fifth time, the company has published the "Healthcare Barometer 2019", which is intended to represent the opinion of the Germans about our health system.
We hardly make any progress on the topic of e-health
"In other countries, electronic patient records, flexible time measurement via app or location-independent treatment via video chat have long been a reality," reports Michael Burkhart, head of health care at PwC in a press release on the survey results. In Germany, however, digital technology is only slowly reaching patients.
Only one in three is satisfied with their doctor's visit
This is also reflected in the survey. Only 55 percent of citizens rank the German healthcare system among the top three in the world. Two years ago, 64 percent believed this. Visits to doctors in private practice also increasingly leave discontent. According to the survey, forty percent of residents complain that the doctor takes too little time. Only 33 percent are satisfied with visits to the doctor.
Desire for more flexibility
"The expectations of care and service have increased significantly," Burkhart sums up. This is countered by a shortage of time, which has increasingly become the central problem in our health system. This has an increasingly negative impact on the relationship between doctor and patient. It is now all the more important that doctors put more emphasis on the human factor and at the same time relieve routine procedures. Digital technology can make a major contribution to this.
Escape to the pharmaceutical industry?
In contrast to the falling trust in doctors, there is increased trust in the pharmaceutical industry. Although 69 percent of the respondents view the pharmaceutical industry as a company that aims to maximize profits, the industry has managed to continuously improve its image since 2014. According to Michael Burkhart, the enormous advances in cancer therapy are one reason for the increased confidence. The online trade in medicines is also booming. Two thirds of the respondents get their medication online. Here, digital technologies have long since arrived, says Burkhart.
Satisfaction with the statutory health insurance companies
The vast majority of respondents (86 percent) are satisfied with the services provided by the statutory health insurance companies. This value even increased by two percentage points compared to the last survey. "Presumably, this result reflects the good economic situation of the statutory health insurers, which allows them to also grant additional benefits," said the PwC expert. The bottom line is that Germany is still a country with very high levels of medical care, Burkhart emphasizes. However, the survey results show that it is time for new technologies to take effect across the board so that both doctors and patients are relieved. (vb)