Proposal to split sickness fund spending sparks row:
This article was originally published in Clinica
A proposal by the German doctors' association, the Hartmann Bund, to increase individual responsibility with regard to sickness fund expenditure has been dismissed by Frank Bsirske, chairman of the united services union (ver.di) as a step on the way towards a two-tier health service. Mr Bsirske said that the Hartmann Bund's drive to divide sickness fund expenditure into "necessary" and "optional" procedures would mean that richer fund members would be offered more comprehensive insurance than their poorer counterparts. Hartmann Bund chairman Dr Hans-Jurgen Thomas countered by saying that "necessary" procedures could only be defined by a broad consensus of society and that this "was the only means of safeguarding against a two-tier system".
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