Berlin - The German Medical Association (), the German Hospital Association () and the German Social Insurance Association have given “clear signal against the expansion of European standardization tendencies”. At joint event in Brussels, they rejected efforts by the European Union to intervene in the competencies of the member states with the standardization of health services.
Quality assurance in medical treatment is based on the principle of evidence-based medicine, emphasized Günther Jonitz, chairman of the quality assurance committees of the BÄK. "The health service standards developed by private standardization organizations by mostly non-specialist actors do not even begin to meet the high requirements associated with them and endanger patient care," he warned. In Germany, the medical associations guaranteed the high quality of medical care. "We will not allow this right to be undermined through the back door with the standardization of health services," said Jonitz.
Responsible for self-administration
Doris Pfeiffer, who as chairwoman of the board represented the German Social Insurance, recalled the division of tasks between the European and national levels. For example, European standards for medical products or syringes could be useful. In the case of health or nursing services, on the other hand, they would "not bring any additional benefit - neither for the patient, nor for the service provider or the entire system." The European Union could support the member states by promoting the exchange on quality and patient safety.
DKG general manager Georg Baum emphasized the competence of national actors in the definition of quality standards and the requirements for good medicine. In Germany, the joint self-administration and the medical-scientific societies are responsible for this. “Standards by private standardization institutes at EU level cannot fulfill this task,” said Baum. Since they would violate legal requirements, such standards should not be further developed using public funds from the EU budget.
Deutsches Ärzteblatt print
As early as 2014, European standard for services in aesthetic surgery was adopted by the European standardization institute CEN based on the application of the Austrian standardization institute. Standardization projects in nursing, healthcare administration, and traditional Chinese medicine are currently ongoing. Standards have been concluded, among other things, in the field of services by doctors with additional qualifications in homeopathy, osteopathic health care and chiropractic services.
The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) is private association of 33 members who set European standards in various industrial and develop service areas. However, it is important to note that the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union guarantees the member states the right to organize the health system and medical care independently.