Healthcare system

The German health care system is not social - A field report

The health care system in Germany is broken, well, at least far from healthy and functioning.

I am not the first nor the last to make this statement, but recently I have directly seen the effects of people being let down by the German social and health care system. My blog post about my experience.

In the family business, we recently transferred a mini-job employee to part-time employment because of her performance over the past year and the need for the hours she works, which makes part-time employment the only option, as it would otherwise exceed the mini-job hours.

Until now, she had still received Hartz IV, or Bürgergeld, as it is called from 2023. But due to a recent case of illness of her 13 year old son, the problem showed up, she was already insured, but had not yet received her salary, because she is employed the first month. The employment office is no longer responsible, so she no longer receives social benefits from the office.

She doesn't have a driver's license or a car either, while she was working with us she told us about her son, pus in his ear, according to the family doctor an infection, but he didn't want to prescribe antibiotics (note, antibiotics only work against bacterial infections, not viral infections), instead she should go to an ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT), but especially in rural areas this is easier said than done.

In the immediate vicinity there are 3 hospitals, in the hospital in the city where she could go on foot, there is indeed an ENT doctor, but only 3 times a week for a few hours open and on this day was no consultation hour. In the hospital in the city where we just worked, there was after a call on my part only the information that there is no ENT doctor, on my query what I should do if I bleed from the ear? The answer to the nurse, you should then take a cab or the train to the next town, where the hospital is the only one in the district, has an ENT doctor permanently.

The very fact that you are left alone as a patient with such a problem shows how desolate the health care system is.Instead of help, it was seriously suggested that you should go by train, so bleeding from the ear and so.....

We then called the health insurance company of the employee, and described the situation, hospital A, ENT doctor practice already closed and open only 3 times a week, hospital B has no ENT doctor and hospital C is 50km away, employee has no car, no driver's license, for cab no money, child can not be transported in such a condition in the train.

The answer from the health insurance company: Then nothing can be done without a Transport voucher for inpatient hospital admissionno costs can be assumed. Not to mention a patient transport by ambulance, RTW.

The primary care physician had provided a referral to the specialist with a priority of urgent, but had not provided a transport slip for this purpose.

It was Friday, about 12:10, on Friday the doctors' offices close quite early, in the afternoon it is virtually impossible 99% of doctors. With luck, the family doctor came to the doctor's office again, after we explained the situation, he issued a transport certificate.

Our employee with tears in her eyes, happy that it worked out, but also worried about her child, who has to stay 50km away, inpatient over the weekend, alone in the hospital.

If all the ropes had been broken and the doctor had not come back to the office, he had not issued a transport bill, then we would have taken it from there, my mother as the manager would have taken her employee and the child to the hospital because the health care system had failed.

Germany is far away from a healthy health care system, more and more doctors are retiring, more and more the pillars that keep the system going are collapsing, more and more savings are being made and everywhere there is a lack of staff qualified to take care of people.

Had the employee waited over the weekend, the infection would have spread to his son, who would have taken responsibility? Possibly none....

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Posted by Petr Kirpeit

All articles are my personal opinion and are written in German. In order to offer English-speaking readers access to the article, they are automatically translated via DeepL. Facts and sources will be added where possible. Unless there is clear evidence, the respective article is considered to be my personal opinion at the time of publication. This opinion may change over time. Friends, partners, companies and others do not have to share this position.

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