Three quarters of Germans are satisfied with their medical care, according to a study. In a survey of 1,000 citizens conducted by the auditing and consulting firm PwC and available to Reuters, 19 percent of respondents said they were "very satisfied" with the supply, while 56 percent were "somewhat satisfied.". Among privately insured even almost 90 percent consider medical care good. East Germans tend to be more dissatisfied with medical services than West Germans.
Of those surveyed, 58 percent wanted faster appointments with specialists. 47 percent see among the greatest need for action in securing medical care in rural areas. 43 percent of those surveyed see the recruitment and retention of nursing staff as a top priority. 30 percent emphasize safeguarding even smaller hospitals in rural regions. Digitization ranks only for 12 percent among the three fields with the greatest prere to act. "Our analysis shows that the major problems of the healthcare system have long since reached the insured," said PwC healthcare expert Michael Burkhart.
Just under half (46 percent) of those surveyed are in favor of a citizens' insurance scheme, as the SPD and the Greens want to introduce. 16 percent are against such health insurance for everyone, 28 percent have no opinion on the subject. Proponents see greater fairness, equality and uniformity as the main reason for introducing citizens' insurance.
Long waiting times cause criticism
The general practitioner enjoys a high level of trust among Germans. 47 percent are "very satisfied" with access to its services in terms of waiting time for an appointment and physical proximity. 40 percent expressed "some degree of satisfaction". However, specialists and clinics are rated more critically: When it comes to waiting times for an appointment and proximity, only 15 percent were "very satisfied" with hospitals and 44 percent "somewhat satisfied". Among medical specialists, only 13 percent said they were "very satisfied". 39 percent are "somewhat satisfied". 46 percent expressed dissatisfaction with waiting times and accessibility of specialists.
Nearly two-thirds of Germans (63 percent) feel well informed about their health, 13 percent of them very well informed. When insured persons seek information about health, their family doctor comes first – far ahead of searches on Google. While 70 percent contact their family doctor, the Internet only comes in second place among the most popular sources of information at 49 percent.
In the area of digitization of healthcare, Germans are most likely to envision the use of electronic patient records. 60 percent welcome the planned introduction of this application in the longer term, not even one in ten is against it.