German unions, funds reject minister's privatisation claims
This article was originally published in Clinica
Germany's unions and sickness funds have reacted furiously to economy minister Werner Muller's calls for individuals to pay out of their own pockets for medical treatments. In a speech delivered last week in Berlin, entitled "Economy Report 2001", Dr Muller suggested that employers should consider reducing contributions made to sickness funds on behalf of their employees. These should instead be paid directly to the employee as part of their salary. Dr Muller, a non-aligned minister, is convinced that this would be a means of solving Germany's health service problems, by creating a foundation for privatised healthcare. Dr Muller plan to put his proposals before the Lower House placing himself in direct conflict with the Social Democratic and Green Party coalition government.