In case of misuse for minor cases
Kassenärzte boss demands emergency room fee
04/12/2023 12:53 AM
The emergency departments of the clinics complain about a flood of trivial cases. Health Minister Lauterbach wants to remedy the situation with a reform of the 112 emergency call. For patients who still walk to the hospital, Kassenärzte boss Gassen proposes a penalty fee.
Kassenärzte boss Andreas Gassen demands a fee for patients who go to the emergency room in the future without prior telephone assessment. Gassen told the editorial network Germany that he also welcomes the plans of Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach to virtually connect the emergency service on 112 and the medical on-call service on 116117 in order to make an initial assessment and then guide the caller correctly.
“Anyone who continues to go directly to the emergency room without first calling the control center may have to pay an emergency fee, because that costs the solidarity community more money and ties up medical resources unnecessarily,” Gassen demanded from the RND. It is always argued that such fees are anti-social, he said. “In my opinion, however, it is antisocial to use the emergency service inappropriately and thus endanger the lives of other people,” emphasized the head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV). And he added: “Anyone who can still go to an emergency room themselves is often not a real medical emergency.”
Emergency call should be placed upstream of the control center
Emergency doctors had recently complained about growing abuse of the emergency number 112 for trifles. Older people in particular called the emergency number instead of contacting resident doctors or nursing services, experts reported at a congress in Koblenz in early March. The “health competence of the population” has obviously decreased and many older people feel helpless, summarized the chairman of the Federal Association of Working Groups of Emergency Doctors in Germany, Florian Reifferscheid.
A commission of experts for the federal government is proposing new integrated control centers to counter the misuse of the emergency call. Anyone who dials 112 or the on-call number 116117 in an emergency should first receive a telephone or telemedical assessment. The staff could then call an ambulance or book an appointment at a doctor’s office, an emergency service office or an emergency room.