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Municipal clinic doctors walk off the job

DPA/The Local · 22 Mar 2010, 11:30

Published: 22 Mar 2010 11:30 GMT+01:00

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The negotiations will determine the salaries and working conditions for 55,000 physicians at state clinics across the country. The doctor union Marburger Bund wants a five percent wage increase and better compensation for being on call.

To underscore their demands, the doctors will only treat emergencies from 5 am to 5 pm on Monday and many were also expected to attend a demonstration in Cologne.

“After three rounds of negotiations it’s time to find a compromise and not make impossible demands,” said Joachim Finkenburg, the negotiator for municipal employers.

While state clinics say German doctors are already among Europe’s top earners, physicians complain they are overworked and underpaid.

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“It’s pointless to complain about a lack of doctors at hospitals on one hand while refusing to make desperately needed improvements to the daily working conditions of doctors,” said Kuno Winn, the chairman of the physicians’ association Hartmannbund.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:15 March 22, 2010 by hanskarl
Welcome USA to your new system of health care. Coming to your homes sooner than you think!!
13:30 March 22, 2010 by So36
I'll take my German health insurance over some crappy and restrictive HMO plan in the US any day. America has finally decided to give its people a first-world health system not restricted to the rich only. Hallelujah to that.
14:57 March 22, 2010 by William Thirteen
having sampled the systems in the US & Germany i can attest that my health insurance here in Germany is fantastic compared to that in the US. The first time i called to arrange an appointment at my new doctor's office they apologized that they wouldn't be able to see me until the following week! In the US it would taken six weeks at a minimum!
20:54 March 22, 2010 by peschvogel
Now we can see why the US has the best doctors, the best R&D, the best hospitals, the best medical schools, et al. This would or will never ever happen in the US. Ungloublisch...
21:17 March 22, 2010 by dbert4
The German medical systemis the best in Europe, but the patient to doctor ratio is also the highest. The US system is all hype, myths and erroneous information being perpetuated by the ignorant.........now I didn't mention peschvogel by name.
21:22 March 22, 2010 by TBurris
I've experienced both U.S. and German systems. My German AOK fails to cover the preventative care my wife and I received under our U.S. insurance. Ten percent of Americans may not have insurance, but here in Germany, I receive less than 90% of what I had in the States. Hopefully, whatever public-health care gets passed in the U.S. is better than the German system.
21:29 March 22, 2010 by peschvogel
TBurris: Thats because the government is controlling all health care decisions in Germany. This is not the case in the US even with the new bill passed. Germany is now restructuring their entire heathcare system along with schools, welfare, etc to become less centralized and privitized. If you allow Govt to make decisions, esp important health decisions, like they do in Germany, be prepared for the worst. At least in the US, you have "educated" and "trained" and "incentivized" health professionals who would see the problem you mentioned. The US has 308m people. Germany has 80m people. You cant compare apples to apples but when you do, you can see why the US has the best doctors, hospitals, schools, etc....
14:42 March 23, 2010 by Prufrock2010
It's amazing that people who know nothing of the American "health care system" can't help but pontificate about how much better it is than the German system. Their ignorance is staggering.

Approximately 45 million Americans have no health insurance, either because they can't afford it or because insurance companies (which are exempt from antitrust regulation) deny them coverage because of "pre-existing conditions" or "chronic illness." Greed is the god of these institutions.

With the passage of the health reform bill in the U.S., up to 32 million people will have access to medical care that was previously unavailable to them. It is a flawed bill, but it is a start.

As an American, when I lived in the U.S., I had health insurance coverage through my employment. It was supposedly the best PPO insurance available, and it cost approximately $1,100.00 per month for me alone. Sixty percent of the premium cost was borne by my firm, the rest by me. This coverage had a $1,500.00 deductible per annum before the insurance kicked in a dime, as well as a copay for each doctor's visit, and a $3,000.00 annual stop loss for which I was responsible in case of hospitalization. Claim denials by insurance company bureaucrats called "utilization review" personnel are not only commonplace, they are the rule. To get a referral to see a specialist is next to impossible under the best of circumstances, and if somehow accomplished, results in astronomical costs, rejection of claims, and dropped coverage. The American system is a disgrace, and I was one of the "lucky" ones.

My German coverage is far better than any I ever had in America at a small fraction of the cost, simply because the German system relies on a public option and regulates the greed of insurance companies. The quality of medical care in Germany is equal to, if not better than, that in America. The German system should be the model for health care reform in the U.S., and eventually it may be if the rapacious insurance lobby is ever reined in. That is highly doubtful, however.

Those in this forum who extol the virtues of the American health care system over the German system only demonstrate their boundless ignorance.
15:52 March 23, 2010 by dbert4
@Prufrock2010 - Wow, sounds like you missed reading the Republican talking points memo which would have convinced you that American health care is the "best in the world"!

Having to think for yourself, use logic and depend on your own experiences is difficult isn't it?

Simply listening to Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and countless other Republican, "Biachboys" and other morons could have saved you all of that effort. As they have freed several other Americans on this forum from having to think for themselves.
16:42 March 23, 2010 by peschvogel
@Prufrock2010: Your comparing a country with 300m vs 80m? I see you are not good at ratio analysis. In the US, you may pay a little more however, you get the very best in the world. Best doctors (they dont strike), best hospitals (they are clean), best medical schools (top 10 has 8), thats why Prime Ministers/Presidents from other countries come to the US to get procedures while Germany might have some advaced stem cell whatever procedures, you can get the best 99% "other" procedures done in the US. Schlim..
18:30 March 23, 2010 by Prufrock2010

Clearly your English reading skills are woefully deficient, otherwise you would have understood what I wrote. Or you just don't get it. Either way, you don't have a clue what you are talking about. The issue isn't about the quality of medical schools, the expertise of physicians or the equipment in hospitals. It is about the deprivation of medical care to upwards of 20 percent of the 300 million people you refer to, because of the unfettered greed of the unregulated insurance companies in the U.S. Unless you have had personal experience with the American medical and insurance establishments, you should save yourself the embarrassment of weighing in on this subject vis-a-vis the United States. But as you seem to enjoy displaying your ignorance on every subject, I doubt that you will heed my admonition.
19:23 March 23, 2010 by peschvogel
You cant say that anymore. Your out of ammunition.. The US has just passed a "law" to cover health insurance for eveyone. You shouldnt assume what you dont know what other people have "experience" with or not. Your wrong....German healthcare is in dire need of reform:


On a seperate note, Prufrock2010, your arrogance and high nose attitude shows much about your personality. Schade..
20:24 March 23, 2010 by Prufrock2010
If ignorance is bliss, Mr. Tarred Bird must be the happiest man on the planet.
00:15 March 24, 2010 by peschvogel
PruCock2010: You are adding nothing to this and other threads. Why dont you just go away. Or are you sitting at home all alone and you are playing the "home news reporter" acting like an editor making these unecessary comments. Get a life...
00:40 March 24, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Tsk, tsk. There's that Freudian projection rearing its ugly head again.
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