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Germany needs an extra 4,600 doctors

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Germany needs an extra 4,600 doctors
Younger doctors are needed in rural areas. Photo: DPA
10:54 CET+01:00
Germany is short of doctors with its lack of GPs increasing by 30 percent in one year. Rural areas are the worst affected, a report released on Friday suggested.

There were 2,600 too few general practitioners working in 2013 – an increase of 600 since 2012, the Welt newspaper reported.

On top of this, the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV) study said that 2,000 specialists were also lacking. Of these, 1,250 were psychiatrists.

“The numbers show how urgently we need doctors for primary care,” said KBV spokesman Roland Stahl.

In Germany there are around 52,000 general practitioners' clinics and 66,400 specialist clinics – 22,000 of which are psychiatric. Most of these are concentrated in towns and cities, meaning the countryside is lacking in services.

Both eastern and western states are affected, with practises emptying as more doctors retire and new ones are not there to take their place. This leaves, Welt said, particularly old people at a disadvantage.

If there are no doctors, this often means that pharmacies and physiotherapists also shut, according to the KBV. It said that by 2021, 51,000 general practitioners and specialists will have retired.

Stahl added that the KBV was trying to lure younger doctors into the countryside with financial incentives. 

READ MORE: Half of German hospitals in the red

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