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Germany's health insured prepare for future cut-backs in services and products:

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

Nine out ten of those insured under Germany's statutory health insurance system expect that they will not have access to a complete range of healthcare options in the future. That is one of the findings of the latest biannual survey by the Bertelsmann Foundation. The privately-insured are less pessimistic, but still 62% of those payers believe that their access to healthcare will be subject to stricter controls in the future. In addition, 81% of public and 67% of private patients see waiting lists for treatment lengthening, something which has traditionally not been a feature in German healthcare, while other countries, such as the UK, have routinely laboured under such conditions. The survey also showed that some 8% of public patient requests for prescriptions were turned down, while only a minor portion in the private sector were (three out of 216 respondents). The healthcare reform has changed the landscape for German healthcare, where out-of-pocket payments are becoming much more enshrined, while statutory sickness funds start to record surpluses once more. A total of 1, 539 people were surveyed.

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