The health care system in Germany is among the best in the world. It offers various health insurance plans to meet different medical needs and budgetary capacities. It employs principles of equality and solidarity where everyone contributes the same and everyone benefits the same. Health facilities are well-equipped and the medical personnel is made of excellent medical practitioners.
Its perfect organization and delivery (and reputation as well) can only be achieved through a large investment in health facilities, administration policies, and medical personnel. It also requires a strong and committed work from governmental institutions and random participants.
So what are the things that make the German health care system receive so much appraisal and often being regarded as the best model to follow?
Statistics about the German health care system
- Besides being among the best, the German public health insurance scheme is considered one of the largest in the world. Based on official data, around 70 million residents in Germany were insured under the statutory health insurance as of 2017. The total number of residents in that year was 81.8 million residents. As such, it means around 90% of the population in Germany are insured under the state-funded health insurance program.
- Since Germany began to keep records of the causes of death of its population around 140 years ago, life expectancy in Germany has increased regularly. The average life expectancy at birth for female residents is 83 years while for men is 78. To put this in perspective, the average life expectancy at birth in EU countries is 80.9 years.
- German public health insurance scheme is governed by federal authorities and administered by public health insurance companies. Currently, 110 accredited health insurance providers (Krankenkassen) operate in Germany. There were more of them but some faced bankruptcy and some others merged together.
- The biggest health insurance provider in Germany is AOK. In 2018 the company and all its branches spread across Germany counted around 25 million clients. Most of them are residents in the federal state of Bavaria.
- Taken individually, however, Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) is the biggest public health insurance provider in Germany. In 2018, around 10.4 million people had taken health insurance at TK.
- Other state-governed health insurance companies that follow in this list are BARMER (9.2 million), DAK Gesundheit (5.6 million), AOK Bayern (4.5 million), AOK Baden-Wurttemberg (4.4 million) and IKK classic (3.1 million).
- As of 2018, there were 10.4 million residents in Germany being health insured by Techniker Krankenkasse (TKK).
- On the other hand, private health insurance scheme is delivered by around 40 accredited private health insurance companies.
- Germany has one of the highest expenditures for health care in Europe. Latest statistics show that as of 2017 health expenditure in Germany is 376 billion euros, 4.7% more than in the previous year. This means health expenditure in Germany per each day exceeds a billion.
- Germany has the second-highest expenditure for health care per capita in the EU. Around €4,200 are annually spent for health care of each resident in Germany.
- Germany is among EU countries which shares the highest proportion of its GDP for the national health care system (over 11%). The EU average is around 9.6%. Moreover, Germany alongside France are two EU countries whose GDP share in health care has increased the most since 2009.
- Latest official data show that as of 2017 there were around 5.6 million health workers. Compared to a year ago an employment increase of around 2% was noted.
- The personnel of health workers at hospitals has increased by 20,000 or 1.8% in 2017. Less than half of health workers in Germany (48% as of 2017) are employed full-time. The number of health workers has increased the most in outpatient and inpatient health facilities. Almost 4% in out-patient care and almost 3% in in-patient care.
- Almost 19.4 million residents in Germany received in-patient treatment during 2017.
- The amount of money hospitals spent for in-patient treatments during 2017 was around 91.3 billion euros. According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), this expenditure increased by 3.9% compared to 2016 (87.8 million euros).
- The average cost of in-patient treatment for every person in 2017 was 4,695 euros, 4.4% higher than a year ago (4,497 euros).
- There are over 5.6 million health workers in Germany.
- Around 30% of health care expenditure in Germany goes to hospital services.
- Less than 10% of hospitals’ expenditure is dedicated to outpatient care.
- The number of outpatient medical health care centers in Germany is around 2,800.
- German residents have the highest rate of expenditure for pharmaceuticals per capita (572 euro) almost 40% above the EU average.
- The German health care system covers more than 80% of pharmaceutical costs of its residents, thus being the most generous in the EU alongside Luxembourg.
- There are around 2,000 hospitals in Germany. In the past, there used to be more but many of them merged into a single entity to increase their capacities and further improve the quality of their medical service.
- Less than 90% of the population in urban regions in Germany can get to the nearest hospital within 15 minutes. In rural areas, on the other hand, only 64% of the residents can reach the hospital within 15 minutes.
- Residents who are insured under the public health insurance have to pay 10 euros each night they spent in a hospital.
- Bavaria has the highest number of health facilities compared to other German federal states. Official data show that there are over 548 medical care centers operating in Bavaria. Other states that follow in the list are Berlin, Hessen and Baden-Wurttemberg.
- The number of full-time nurses working in German hospitals is increasing. In 2017, there were 328,500 full-time equivalent nurses who took care of accommodating medical needs of around 19.5 million receivers of in-patient treatments in a hospital.
- The data collected in 2017, show that more than a million nurses work in German hospitals, of which 764,648 of them were in care homes and 390,322 were in home care services.
- According to the EU-wide statistical agency, Germany has the highest number of nursing associate professionals among all 11 EU countries for which official data are available (around 164,000).
- Expenditure in German nursing care and therapeutic services has been increasing in recent years due to the aging population. More than 20% of German residents are currently aged over 65%.
- As of December 2017, 3.41 million people in Germany were classified for long-term medical care, half a million more than two years ago. The main reason underlying this increase was the introduction of the new definition for a person who is eligible for long-term care in January 2017.