Berlin says reforms cut spending on medicine

11th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

11 October 2004, BERLIN - Germany's health reform - which aims to maintain universal healthcare by slashing costs - is working as shown by a sharp drop in spending on medicine last month, an official said Monday. A Health Ministry spokesman said the cost of medicines to the semi-public "sickness funds", under which most Germans are insured, fell by 5 percent in September compared with the previous month. The spokesman did not say how much money had been saved. "This is proof the health reform works," said

11 October 2004

BERLIN - Germany's health reform - which aims to maintain universal healthcare by slashing costs - is working as shown by a sharp drop in spending on medicine last month, an official said Monday.

A Health Ministry spokesman said the cost of medicines to the semi-public "sickness funds", under which most Germans are insured, fell by 5 percent in September compared with the previous month.

The spokesman did not say how much money had been saved.

"This is proof the health reform works," said the spokesman.

Under the controversial German health reform patients have to pay a EUR 10 fee the first time they visit a doctor each quarter. This has led to a decline in the number of people making visits the doctor.

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder says he cannot understand objections to the EUR 10 fee which is helping put the sickness funds back into the black and will stabilise or reduce health insurance premiums.

DPA

Subject: German news

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