Number of doctors and patients in Germany rises
Drastic increase in the number of foreign doctors
The number of doctors and the demand for doctors is increasing in Germany. In the last year there were more than 371,300 doctors and therefore 6055 more than in the previous year as reported by the German Medical Association (BAK)
The number of doctors and patient demand is increasing in Germany. (© 2016 AFP)
Berlin - This corresponds to a slight increase of around 1,7 percent. Around 189,600 doctors work in the hospital and more than 150,000 work in outpatient treatment.
The patients demand for doctors has increase at higher rate than the the number of doctors, this was explained by doctor president Frank Ulrich Montgomery. Between 2004 and 2014 the number of outpatient treatments in Germany increased by 152 million, a similar development occurred in hospitals.
The reason for this is mostly due to the increasing number of older patients. In 2015 the share of patients who are over the age of 60 constituted to around 51,5 percent. Experts expect that this will rise to around 61 percent by the year 2030.
Mongomery warned: "If we do not take decisive action against this trend, our health care system will experience a large number of problems in the future." He demanded that the number of university places in Germany for studying medicine should be increased by 10 percent.
The selection procedure at universities also needs to revamped and improved. Apart from the grades acquired in the Abitur (German A-Levels), factors such as the psychosocial competences, social engagement and other relevant work experience should take greater consideration when offering places for studying medicine. Montgomery made clear that he thinks that by 2017 all medical faculties in Germany should have chairs for general practice (medicine).
According to the German Medical Association doctors are also fighting with the problem of aging. The number of doctors in the past year under the age of 35 did increase by 0,2 percent to 18,5 percent however the share of doctors over the age of 59 increased by 0,9 percent to 17,3 percent. At the same time the share of doctors between the ages of 40 and 49 decreased from 25,2 percent to 24,1 percent.
In addition more and more doctors are deciding against making their work a full-time profession. In 2009 the share of part-time doctors from all established doctors was still 5 percent, in the year 2013 it increased to 13,6 percent. Simultaneously more and more doctors do not have their own practice: The number of established doctors decreased by 0,7 percent in the last year. The number of doctors who work in the outpatient sector however increased to around 29,400 doctors, this represents an increase of around 11,7 percent.
In the past year there were more than 42,600 foreign doctors registered in Germany. Of these, 3560 were new migrants and represented an increase around 7,4 percent. The largest growth came from around 493 doctors from Syria, followed by doctors from Serbia, Romania, Russia, Bulgaria and Egypt.