New German record: Over one billion euros in health care expenditure every day

New German record: Over one billion euros in health care expenditure every day

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Health expenditure in Germany at over a billion euros per day

Health expenditure in Germany has reached a new record: According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the one billion euro mark was exceeded for the first time last year. According to experts, the costs for the healthcare system could be massively reduced by simple measures.

Health expenditure per inhabitant at over 4,300 euros per year

According to a message from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), health expenditure in Germany exceeded the one billion euro mark per day for the first time in 2017. For 2017, the statisticians forecast an increase in health expenditure compared to 2016 of 4.9 percent to 374.2 billion euros. From 2015 to 2016, they had increased by 3.8 percent to EUR 356.5 billion or EUR 4,330 per inhabitant. This corresponded to a share of 11.3 percent of the gross domestic product. As stated in the release, the higher growth rate for 2017 is due to the third Care Strengthening Act, which came into force on January 1, 2017.

Treatment of lifestyle diseases swallows a lot of money

According to experts, a large part of the health expenditure in this country falls on the treatment of so-called civilization diseases such as back problems, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

The complications of diabetes also cause considerable costs.

Many diseases of civilization are "often lifestyle-related and thus actually avoidable - caused by unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and stress", the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) reported in an older message.

Simple measures could reduce expenses

Scientific studies have also shown that many lifestyle diseases could be suppressed by a healthier lifestyle - and that this would result in lower expenditure.

For example, researchers from the United States reported a study that showed that regular exercise can greatly reduce the cost of healthcare because it helps to maintain cardiovascular health.

According to the TK, a nationwide commitment to health promotion is required in this country. However, the incentives in the health care system are fundamentally wrong, the health insurance company criticized.

"Because in financial equalization (the so-called Morbi RSA), health insurance companies are fined if, for example, they take care that an insured person's diabetes does not get worse," said the TK.

And: “On the other hand, it is financially attractive to document as much illness as possible. Because the more illnesses a health insurance fund can prove to its insured, the more money it receives from the health fund. ”

Costs are mainly borne by the contributors

Health expenditure in Germany is primarily financed by the state, private households and companies.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, the largest sources of funding in 2016 were employee social security contributions at EUR 112.4 billion, employers' social security contributions at EUR 81.6 billion and government transfers at EUR 51.8 billion.

Health expenditure includes all goods and services with the aim of prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and care, the costs of administration and investments by the health care facilities.

It does not include expenses for research and training in the healthcare system, expenses for compensating for illness-related consequences (e.g. benefits for integration assistance) and income benefits. (ad)

Author and source information

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