Foto: aboutpixel.deNew forms of co-operation between hospitals, health insurance funds and industry will gain in importance with a view to introducing innovative medical technologies into the German health service. This was the position adopted by experts at the BVMed-Forum “Inadequate medical care in Germany – a mock debate or the reality of everyday care?”, (...)

(...) on 30 November 2005 in Berlin. BVMed is the German Medical Technology Association.

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Hardy Müller the director of healthcare management at the Technicians’ Health Insurance Fund (Techniker Krankenkasse – TK), highlighted as an example of a “co-operative partnership of all interested parties”, a model project for the introduction of drug-eluting stents to permanently hold open coronary arteries. “Innovative solutions for new care procedures and pro¬ducts” were required, said the insurance fund expert.

Some 60 participants from all sectors of the health service took part in two rounds of discussion on ethical aspects of medical care as well as possible solutions to the dilemma arising from the conflict between the best possible care and the rationing of healthcare procedures. The new conference format “BVMed-Forum” should help to direct the public discussion towards society-relevant subjects and to lead it forward.

Professor Dr. Claus Carstens from the Heidelberg Orthopaedic University Clinic believed that the rationing of medical procedures arises only because hospitals are limited in the number of procedures they may carry out. “As a result, this establishes a waiting list that becomes longer the more recognised and well-known the doctor is.” The capping of the number of procedures in a hospital and budget restrictions mean that direct contact between hospitals and health insurance funds are growing in importance, particularly concerning future agreements on the introduction of innovative medical technologies.

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