Church calls for health system transformation

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EKD advocates realignment of health policy

In a current memorandum, the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) has called for a realignment of health policy towards more solidarity. Although those responsible must also keep an eye on the limited economic resources, "Economic calculations alone are not enough when it comes to shaping health policy," warned the Chairman of the EKD Council, President Nikolaus Schneider, when the memorandum was presented.

The EKD memorandum makes some very specific statements “on the health system in the narrower sense”, but also on “questions of health policy and finally the responsibility of the communities”. The Evangelical Church sets the framework for what they consider to be “good health policy” and gives “recommendations for the future design” of the health system, according to the EKD council president when the memorandum “And our sick neighbors too!” Was presented.

In it, the EKD suggests, for example, that all types of income and not just earned income be taken into account when calculating health and nursing care insurance contributions. Because especially in the area of ​​nursing care, the costs will probably increase massively in the coming decades, while an improvement in the doctor-patient relationship would be necessary, emphasized President Schneider. The EKD estimates that considerable additional financial resources are required for this. In addition, the nursing staff's work processes must also allow time for the relationship with the patient. "At the moment," according to the EKD Council Chairman, "especially in nursing, the work processes have become so compact that there is less and less time for personal discussions, sympathy and support." To remedy this for the benefit of the patient , financial resources also have to be taken into hand and additional nursing staff hired, emphasized President Schneider.

Criticism of marketing the health care system Social and communicative aspects and psychological emergency situations, such as those with dementia, have to be "adequately taken into account" when designing the health care system, said the EKD council chairman when presenting the current memorandum in Düsseldorf. The EKD also criticizes the "marketing" that dominates the current development of medical care and permeates the "public discourse on coping with illness with medical means". According to the EKD, all other, older "discourses such as the anthropological situation of the acutely and chronically ill, the professional self-definition of doctors, therapists and nurses, humanity in the hospital and ethics of medical organization" are forgotten here. According to the memorandum, the aspects of “equitable distribution in medical care” are sometimes neglected. (fp)

Image: Gerd Altmann /

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