The various plans available to Jürgen are organized in different ways. In Germany, the health insurance system includes both public-sector and private-sector insurance companies. The public-sector insurance groups are part of the SHI system and include more than a hundred sickness funds (Blümel and Busse 63). For sickness funds, individuals and...
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...als, which in turn results in “longer average waiting periods for primary care physicians than in the United States.” Policy measures can be taken to address these longer waiting periods for PCPs. Longer wait times are especially concerning for patients on SHI insurance programs because patients on private programs often have shorter wait times (Knox; Göpffarth 7). People on SHI plans also tend to be more low-income and may not have the same flexibility for long wait times as higher income people might. As it seems, the problem of wait times is a problem of a low proportion of PCPs to insured patients. This could be addressed by increasing the number of PCPs in the German healthcare system. If a main barrier is the lack of current medical school graduates pursuing work as PCPs, more students might be incentivized to become PCPs through government subsidies or grants.
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