Between economy and morality

Between economy and morality

Eckhard nagel, long-serving chief physician and director of the institute for medical management and health sciences at the university of bayreuth, was a guest at the s-forum of the erlangen hochstadt herzogenaurach city and district savings bank. He has been a member of the supervisory board of charite universitatsmedizin berlin since 2015. Since 2001, he has been a member of the presidium of the german protestant church congress and in this function was church congress president in hanover in 2005 and protestant president of the ecumenical church congress in munich in 2010.

In his funeral speech, the chairman of the savings bank, johannes von hebel, pointed out that there is a shortage of funds in the healthcare system, that new devices and medications are flooding the market every day, and that the administrative burden sometimes overshadows the actual work of the doctor. Therefore, a doctor today must also keep an eye on costs. "How can the need for efficient management be reconciled with the highest possible level of individual patient welfare?? And what is in the foreground when in doubt?" asked von hebel.

Right at the beginning of his extremely interesting and at the same time entertaining presentation, nagel made it clear to the numerous guests present that germany is a leader in medical care. Many countries are taking their cue from our healthcare system. But unfortunately, only a few people in our country are aware of this fact.

Solidarity and subsidiarity are the basic principles of our health care system. Its value system puts the person at the center, strives for fair equality of opportunity for the realization of life plans with equal access to medical care, but also includes the patient’s own responsibility. This system protects the patient and steps in when he is no longer able to help himself.

Free choice of doctor, freedom of therapy for the doctor and comprehensive care are essential strengths of our system. These basic principles had to be preserved for the benefit of patients, even if new forms of therapy and the associated costs were making medicine more expensive. Economic action and the responsible use of scarce resources are certainly an important part of the solution here. Medical progress should not be seen as a mere cost driver either. Because through him many things will become feasible, which will make the healing successes traceable and will improve them even further.

Digitalization will also change medicine and can effectively support doctors and hospitals, among other things to simplify processes and improve diagnostic possibilities. The well-being of the patients must be the measure of value, the quality of life of the people through medicine must be in the foreground. Because despite an exemplary system, not all people in our country are equally well cared for. A trace is provided here by the consideration of life expectancy. "Studies show that a low socioeconomic status is associated with an increased risk of death and thus a reduced life expectancy. There are also differences in life expectancy between urban and rural areas, nagel explained.

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