After now 4 years of regularly being put through the wringer of our German healthcare system with waiting weeks for appointments at specialist doctors, sitting for hours on end in waiting rooms and paying a lot more money than I would like to pharmacists and healthcare stores because the public health insurance doesn’t cover it I thought things couldn’t get worse, but apparently they can.
As outsiders you need to understand that medication and healthcare stuff is paid from a public fund out of which each of the public health insurances is allocated an annual budget (they are divided regionally similar to a federal state or cover specific job types/ professions, so there is quite a few) within which they operate. The whole system essentially works on the principle of “solidarity” whereby people who rarely are sick or earn a lot of money subsidize the needs of people like me in a way. While on a general level this works reasonably well, depending on the demographics of a specific region, some of those insurances accumulate losses and though they are compensated from the others in an equally solidarian fashion, they are always on the lookout to cut costs. This over the years has turned into a downward spiral where the people have been burdened with paying ever more cost by themselves and now it is approaching a point where it’s getting downright ridiculous.
DAK have reached a new low at setting the limit for incontinence materials at 12.50 Euros and they consider it “adequate”. That is, per month! Yepp, given current prices that about covers a single package and when you know that you need about 3 diapers a day and a package in the medium thickness class has about 30 pieces you can do the math easily. Adequate? Far from it! If you can’t afford it, you apparently have to shit your pants.
That is even more ridiculous when you consider that e.g. most medication for Diabetes or cardio-vascular issues are many times more expensive and they pay for it without flinching (because they have to by law). Conversely, I could have expensive surgery and treatments in my urethral tract and intestines which isn’t even guaranteed to improve my incontinence like my failed electro stimulation. I mean we are talking about 90 Euros a month here even for heavy incontinence. In the overall system of avalanching health expenses this isn’t even a tiny pebble, if you get my meaning.
Therefore, before this madness spreads any further, it’s time to raise your voice and sign this petition (German residents only). You can also check out some more info on the subject here (German only, use translated version here).