The prospective federal government of SPD, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen and FDP have specific new plans for the German healthcare system in the coming legislative period. However, there are still many unanswered questions as well as approval and criticism from the ranks of experts in the health care sector. The following listed problems and points the new government wants to implement soon in any case:
- Strengthening nursing care and addressing the shortage of skilled workers: the new federal government will invest one billion euros in this area; either in total or in addition. Increasing the tax exemption for the care bonus to 3,000 euros is on the agenda, along with better working conditions. Based on the implementation of the nursing staff requirement assessment tool (PPR 2.0), a „needs-based skills mix“ will be implemented, but this will probably increase the time required per patient:in by 8.1 percent.
- Advance digitization: The FDP is to increase digitization in the areas of speed and networking; video consultation hours, e-patient files and e-prescriptions as well as, for example, tele-emergency medical care belong in this area as well as the TI connection of all service providers. gematik is to be transformed into a digital health agency.
- Strengthening outpatient care: Outpatient rather than inpatient services should be the focus of care. Health and emergency centers are to provide outpatient services close to home and in line with demand, which are to be financed by so-called hybrid DRGs. The focus is to be on performance, i.e., reimbursement is to be based on management.
Hospital planning and financing: A central point of the paper are recommendations for future standards. Hospital planning is to be based on service groups and care levels.
- Federal-and-state crisis team: The new head of government, Olaf Scholz, is backing the establishment of a crisis team that will discuss the situation regarding the pandemic spread of the coronavirus on a daily basis and then make decisions. The council also consists of experts such as virologists, epidemiologists and sociologists, for example.
Many experts in the German health care system are satisfied with the items on the agenda for health and care policy. These include the German Hospital Association (DKG) and the German Surgeons‘ Professional Association, which has long welcomed interprofessional collaboration between sectors. However, there are also critical voices that criticize above all the hesitant action, especially in the Corona crisis.