Medical practices are becoming the focus of financial investors, and hundreds have already been bought up in recent years. It is not necessarily an advantage for patients if a practice is run according to profitability aspects. Bavaria's Minister of Health is urging the federal government to take on the issue.
Politicians and experts warn against the takeover of medical practices by financial investors. "It is striking that certain specialists such as ophthalmologists, nephrologists, but also radiologists are apparently particularly interesting for financial investors," said Bavaria's Health Minister Klaus Holetschek to the "Augsburger Allgemeine". He had expressly asked the Federal Ministry of Health to take on the issue and set up a federal-state working group as soon as possible. Nothing has happened so far, criticized the CSU politician.
The board member of the German Foundation for Patient Protection, Eugen Brysch, warned: "Regardless of the size of a practice or who runs it, the quality of the therapy alone is decisive for the patient." Chances of recovery should not be jeopardized by economic structures and interests, he warned. It should not be that the most lucrative treatment or billing strategy is in the foreground. The medical ethicist Eckhard Nagel from the University of Bayreuth spoke in the newspaper of an "alarming" situation. "The indispensable relationship of trust between doctor and patient is at risk of being violated here," warned Nagel.
The ARD magazine "Panorama" reported in April that financial investors were increasingly turning to medical practices. Hundreds, "possibly even thousands of doctor's seats" have been bought, but there is no list of investor-run practices. Eye doctor practices are particularly attractive for investors. The Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians in Hamburg recently warned against selling out practices and called on politicians to take action.