Health Minister Lauterbach says Germany must reduce overnight hospital stays

Health Minister Lauterbach says Germany must reduce overnight hospital stays

Germany's health minister, Karl Lauterbach, wants to reduce non-urgent hospital stays in an attempt to relieve overworked doctors and medical staff.

Lauterbach calls for fewer unnecessary hospitalisations

Health minister Karl Lauterbach has announced that he would like to reduce the number of non-urgent stays in hospitals in order to relieve pressure on the German healthcare system.

Speaking to the Rheinische Post, Lauterbach said that he would like fewer people to be taken as in-patients: “We want to spare patients hospital stays and simultaneously relieve staff. When it comes to simple procedures it is not worth it to stay in the hospital."

German hospitals have high in-patient numbers

According to Lauterbach the number of patients who spend time overnight in hospital is particularly high in Germany. “The proportion of in-patient care here is very high by an international comparison," he told the newspaper. "For this reason many treatments that are using in-patient care must be ambulatory in future.” Explaining his decision, Lauterbach stressed that “staying overnight in hospital is not a necessarily part of good medical practice.”

Most hospitals in Germany have single-sex, multi-bed wards; you can sometimes pay extra for a private or semi-private room. If you have private health insurance, rather than statutory health insurance, this can be included in your coverage, in return for higher premiums. Patients are also expected to bring their own nightwear, towels and toiletries.

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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