Germans to pay for failed tattoos

Germans undergoing cosmetic surgery not deemed a medical necessity – or simply getting a tattoo or piercing – may soon have foot the bill if things go wrong.

Germans to pay for failed tattoos
Photo: dpa

The Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament, on Friday gave its backing to a bill which foresees patients shouldering the costs of failed cosmetic surgery, tattoos or piercing if the procedures aren’t considered essential to a person’s health.

The legislation obliges doctors and hospitals to inform state-financed health insurance providers about such cases. Insurance companies have the right to ask customers to share the costs.

Part of a package of health care reforms implemented in 2007, the draft law remains controversial because some feel it violates doctor-patient confidentiality. Health experts from the opposition Greens party and the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) slammed the planned legislation as a “tale-tattle paragraph.”

Calling the bill “ethically and economically irresponsible,” the doctors’ organization, NAV Virchow Group, warned if medics were forced to register failed plastic surgery and piercing procedures, it would destroy trust between doctors and patients.