Dthere are many doctors in germany, in relation to the number of inhabitants there are actually a lot of them. About 80,000 of them have established themselves as specialists with their own practice, such as specialists in ophthalmology, ear, nose and throat diseases, orthopedics or gynecology. But the Germans very, very often go to a specialist. This is why the Northwest Frankfurt Ear, Throat and Nose Unit that we contacted for this article is not offering the next free appointment until May 31st.
By the way, private patients get there earlier. You only have to wait three days, not 13 weeks. But this difference is not the point here. Instead, we want to describe two ways that people with compulsory health insurance can make it easier and faster to make an appointment with a specialist.
If you don’t know the problem from your own experience, you can empathize with some of the data. In its latest patient survey, the National Association of Physicians for Mandatory Health Insurance determined that 40 percent of all patients wait more than three days to see a doctor; since 2008, this share has increased by almost a third. And “more than three days” can mean a lot. In a study by the RWI Economic Research Institute, physicians and otolaryngologists determined the average waiting time to be 25 days. Not counting the frustrating hours spent calling the doctor’s office.
There is surprisingly simple advice for those who want to save themselves from this. If you want to get there faster, you need to make sure it’s also good for the doctor.
Corrupt practices? It’s much more elegant
Of course, we would never recommend giving bribes to the FAS, for example, an envelope with banknotes on the counter in a doctor’s office. This is more elegant in the German healthcare system. For a number of years, the Associations of Physicians of Compulsory Health Insurance have set up their own appointment service for this purpose. The legislator obliged them to do something about the disappointing expectations of many patients. This switching service can be reached by calling 116117 and, more conveniently, since there is no waiting line, online at 116117.de or using the smartphone app 116117.
In addition to the required specialist field, you enter your own place of residence and email address for identification. An authentication code is sent to this address as soon as possible, and once you enter it, the database usually offers an appointment, which can also be booked immediately by clicking on it. It works in an uncomplicated way and with a clear reward system. At every appointment, the insurance companies allow something in the name of their depositors. Doctors receive a premium for treatment, the amount of which depends on how quickly the appointment happened – officially, not in an envelope. The maximum amount per reception is given the next day, after which it gradually decreases until the 35th day.
Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine
I have been working as a news website author for the past year, and have written about a variety of healthcare-related topics. I am currently focusing on coverage of medical technology and innovation, as well as patient advocacy. I am also an avid cyclist and runner, and enjoy spending time outdoors exploring new trails or hitting the pavement for a run.