Insurers argue over cost of swine flu shots

German health insurers are urging the government to take on the costs of immunising the population against swine flu, daily Leipziger Volkszeitung reported on Tuesday.

Insurers argue over cost of swine flu shots
Photo: DPA

“Fundamentally the handling of a pandemic is the concern of the public health services, a spokesperson for health insurance alliance VDEK told the paper, warning that otherwise costs would be transferred to their customers.

The cost, estimated at some €600 million, is an “amount that was not factored in and that can’t be compared to petty cash,” head of AOK Plus health insurer Rolf Steinbronn, adding that such a sum can ruin an insurer.

Resistance from insurers comes after a spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Health recently said insurers would take on the immunisation fees.

In mid-July, the Health Ministry announced that the first A/H1NI virus vaccinations – enough for 30 percent of the population – would be delivered in September. So far there have been more than 700 cases of the virus in the country.

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