10.12.2021 – 05:40
Doctors of the World eV
Munich / Berlin (ots)
A new report by the organization Doctors of the World offers a rare insight into the life and health situation of people in Germany who do not have adequate access to medical care even during the Covid 19 pandemic. It reveals an urgent need for political action.
The publication, which is based on data collected last year in the projects of Doctors of the World in Munich, Berlin and Hamburg, paints a worrying picture: around 43 percent of the patients surveyed had previously waived health care even though they were sick. Among homeless people, the proportion was even 76 percent.
“During a pandemic in particular, the top political priority must be to make health services accessible to everyone. The fact that people in this country may not receive any help with Covid 19 disease is unacceptable,” says Doctors and World Director François De Keersmaeker . “Unfortunately, the situation remains problematic this year as well. Especially now in winter and in view of the fourth wave and the threat posed by the omicron virus variant, our patients are particularly at risk of becoming seriously ill.”
The report shows the numerous barriers that prevent hundreds of thousands of people in Germany from going to a regular doctor’s practice – including a lack of health insurance coverage, a lack of information, discrimination, bureaucracy and language.
Often those affected are hardly able to protect themselves from infection with the coronavirus and have to fear a more severe course. Many live in cramped conditions or are homeless. The unhealthy living conditions and inadequate access to medical care cause or exacerbate chronic illnesses. Around 56 percent of the diagnoses at the first consultation in a Doctors of the World project were of a chronic nature – most commonly high blood pressure and diabetes.
The pandemic-related exit and movement restrictions and the associated social isolation have made the situation of the clients of Doctors of the World 2020 even worse. Many therefore only found their way to doctors of the world with advanced illnesses. Among them was, for example, a patient who turned to the Munich offer only four days after an acute stroke.
Doctors of the World therefore calls on the new federal government to ensure a statutory right to medical care for all people in Germany and to enable low-threshold, non-discriminatory access. In addition, the data situation on people without health insurance urgently needs to be improved.
“If you want to reach people, also with measures to fight pandemics, you have to know their living conditions. But the official data surveys in Germany do not cover the majority of our clients. The Doctors of the World Health Report should help to fill this gap.” says Doctors of the World Director François De Keersmaeker.
Doctors of the World publishes its 2021 health report “Unseen, unprotected, uninsured in the pandemic. Sick and without medical care in Germany” on the occasion of Universal Health Coverage Day on December 12th. For the study, the organization evaluated data from 967 patients.
Read the Doctors of the World Health Report 2021 here: https://www.aerztederwelt.org/gesundheitsreport-2021
About Doctors of the World: Doctors of the World is a humanitarian organization that supports the human right to health through medical projects and political work in over 70 countries around the world. In Germany, volunteer doctors and full-time employees treat and advise people who do not have access to the regular health system in the contact points and treatment buses operated by doctors.
Doctors of the World eV
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Original content from: Ärzte der Welt eV, transmitted by news aktuell