Berlin - There are general elections on September 24th. The Deutsches Ärzteblatt asked the health policy spokespersons of the parties, state ministers, associations and doctors from patient care how health policy should continue in the upcoming legislature.
Five questions for Martin Litsch, Chairman of the AOK Federal Association
DÄ: Which health policy issue has to be addressed first in the next legislative period? Why? Martin Litsch: Resident doctors on the one hand, clinics on the other - and in between the patient. The German healthcare system is very heavily divided into sectors, which repeatedly lead to breaks in patient care. This is bad for the quality of care and leads to inefficient use of funds. This is currently becoming clear, for example, in emergency care, for which various new approaches are currently being discussed. They all have one thing in common: They want to unite the sectors more closely or even remove the sector boundaries entirely. That would be big step towards better quality of care in Germany.
DÄ: Which party or which party alliance do you think offers the best solutions for the future problems of the health system? Why? Litsch: That was implemented by an FDP health minister, the introduction of the Morbi-RSA once in an SPD-led Federal Ministry of Health. A CDU minister started the quality-based reconstruction of the hospital landscape. In the case of decisions relevant to health policy, factual necessities are obviously more important than party affiliation. In this respect, I am convinced that no matter which party or alliance provides the government, it will find solutions to advance the health care system.
DÄ: Which current positions of the parties endanger the quality of care in the German health system? Litsch: In addition to the lack of implementation power to overcome sector boundaries, it is the hesitant digitization. Ten years and well over billion euros later, we still have health card that can do just as much - or better - just as little as the old magnetic stripe card. But: with picture. Patients and insured persons cannot do anything with that. What they need and want instead are digital solutions, for example to be able to exchange information about medication or diagnoses between different actors in the health care system.
This solution will obviously not be available soon in the joint self-administration network. Therefore, the various actors should no longer be tied to the complex decision-making structures in telematics, but should implement decentralized solutions.There should only be central requirements for the framework conditions, for example on data security, minimum standards and interoperability. A future-proof healthcare system must finally make patient-oriented offers.
Deutsches Ärzteblatt special
DÄ : How should the framework conditions for health insurance companies be improved? Litsch: We are currently experiencing very intensive and in parts aggressive discussion about morbidity-oriented risk structure compensation. Facts are invented and facts are twisted. But the financial equalization is today the best basis for functioning competition for the best care. Its task is not to financially secure individual funds or types of funds, but rather to protect the insured against risk selection. With two special reports, the federal government is creating valid basis for further developing the financial equalization system in target-oriented manner. That is the right way.
DÄ: What do you want to achieve for your members in the coming legislative period? Litsch: We want to create the best possible quality of treatment for our policyholders while keeping premiums stable. These goals can be achieved, for example, with direct contracts between health insurance companies and service providers. They should therefore be an equivalent alternative to collective standard care. Unfortunately, the selective contractual options for statutory health insurance were limited in the last legislative period. In order to be able to align competition in the health care system more closely with the quality of care, we are demanding more freedom of negotiation from the next federal government.