Patient protectors: Bottlenecks in on-call service
Due to shortages in the medical on-call service, the situation for sick people at home is becoming increasingly dire. Lauterbach and the state health ministers must act immediately.
The German Foundation for Patient Protection has Bottlenecks in the medical on-call service were complained about and Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) and his colleagues in the federal states were called upon to take action.
The on-call service is difficult to reach at night and on weekends, board member Eugen Brysch told the German Press Agency. “As a result, the situation for sick people at home, especially in rural areas, is becoming increasingly worse. The nationwide overload of the emergency services and emergency rooms in hospitals is becoming apparent,” he added.
The background is a ruling by the Federal Social Court in Kassel in October. It had decided that a dentist who had taken on emergency services as a so-called pool doctor in an emergency service center provided by the Statutory Health Insurance Dentists Association could not be paid like a self-employed person, but must also be covered by social insurance. There are now restrictions on on-call services in various federal states, for example on the opening times of on-call practices, because cooperation with pool doctors is being discontinued.
Depending on the federal state, up to half of the doctors on call are affected, said Brysch. Lauterbach and the state health ministers must act immediately. “It is important to take the supervision of statutory health insurance associations seriously for the benefit of the sick. The statutory security mandate of statutory health insurance physicians must urgently be restored.” Resident statutory health insurance physicians are obliged to take part in the on-call service.