German health reform law underway:
This article was originally published in Clinica
The German health finance reform law, which is seen by the grand coalition as increasing competition among the statutory sickness funds, was passed by the federal cabinet in late October, and began to be debated in the lower house on November 3. The upper house will receive the draft in the new year, and the law will come into force on April 1 2007. German hospitals federation (DKG) director Georg Baum said he hoped the first reading would lead to an amendment of the law's planned reduction in the hospitals' budget. To leave the draft intact would be to concede that healthcare is ever more prone to state intervention, he said.