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ÖGK boss criticizes the choice doctor system

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The private cost share is now 25 percent, “that’s unbearable for me,” he said on Sunday in the ORF “press hour”. A reform is needed, and there are good talks with Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens). Huss is less satisfied with the head of department regarding the reform of the mother-child passport. Its planned content is “inadequate”.

Austrian specialty

From an international perspective, the doctors of choice are an Austrian peculiarity. Created in 1955, the system received a boost in 2012, when the hospital doctors’ working hours were limited, says Huss. Elected physicians practice privately and can choose patients and practice times. The patients have to pay the doctor’s bills themselves and are reimbursed a maximum of 80 percent of the invoice amount by the health insurance company, but only if it was actually a health insurance service.

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Video: That’s what Huss says about the elective doctor system

He was in good talks with Rauch to change this system, Huss said, but his coalition partner ÖVP was more on the brakes. The ÖGK boss wants to bring the doctors of choice at least into the ELGA system and electronic billing. The doctors would also have to be “effective in providing care”, i.e. ordain a certain minimum number of hours.

“Conscientious Corruption Potential”

Huss, citing “Transparency International”, also fears “a certain potential for corruption” if a full-time hospital doctor also works as a doctor of choice is working. If someone wants to work on the side, “then please not in private practice, but in the public health system”. Doctors can now be employed by other doctors with health insurance contracts. This would be better than migrating to private medicine, which people cannot afford.

Plea for panel doctors

Huss also made a plea for the cashiers. Statutory health insurance doctors actually have no income problems: With an annual turnover of 400,000 euros from the ÖGK plus a further 20 percent from the other health insurance companies, a panel doctor comes to a net 7,000 to 8,000 euros 14 times a year. “Of all doctors, the Court of Auditors has also found that the panel doctor earns the most,” he said, “but he also has to work for it.” Huss’ plea for the cash registers in the video:

Huss was dissatisfied with the mother-child passport, saying that everything was “absolutely not” okay here. The government decision came as a surprise, social security was not involved. “For me, the content of the mother-child passport is inadequate,” among other things, dentistry or ergotherapy and logotherapy were incomprehensibly left out of consideration. Now one has been instructed to “kindly” negotiate with the doctors. Two thirds of the fees come from the federal government, which is not involved in the negotiations. Rumor had it that the doctors had been promised a fee increase of EUR 17 million, but they were not informed directly. Huss’ conclusion: “We don’t feel that we’re being taken seriously, and above all we don’t feel involved.” Details in the video:

The ÖGK half-time boss (he is always the chairman in the second half of the year, the rest of the time is taken over by the employers) criticized the health insurance reform decided under turquoise-blue. The fact that self-government was undermined “must be reversed,” he said. The patient billion from administrative savings was a “lie”, and one is miles away from standardizing services across all carriers.

More money for countries demanded

Huss also wants structural changes in health financing in general, keyword financial equalization. In his opinion, however, it will not play any more money for the countries from social security. “Grabbing a naked person’s pocket isn’t going to work,” Huss said.

Source: Nachrichten

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