Medical students doubt the country doctor rate
Lack of doctors is an increasing problem, especially in rural areas. The policy wants to counteract this, inter alia, with a country doctor rate in the admission to studies. But today’s medical students see this solution critically. Instead, they demand more support for future doctors. Telemedicine can also help to ensure supply in the countryside. > Lack of doctors becomes a problem, especially for older patients
If you have a medical condition, do not hesitate to visit the family doctor – this is not easily possible for many people in Germany. Because in rural areas, a nationwide supply of general practitioners is no longer guaranteed everywhere. Family doctors who retire, sometimes looking for a long time for a successor and are sometimes not at all. Practices must then be closed and patients have long journeys to the nearest family doctor. The problem will worsen over the next few years, as in many places older GPs who are about to retire are practicing.
Against lack of doctors: The policy has a master plan
Above all, the government wants to counteract the shortage of doctors in rural areas with the so-called Master Plan for Medical Studies 2020 . Among other things, this stipulates that, in the case of admission to studies, a certain part of the study places is preferably awarded to those applicants who agree to work in the countryside after their studies. At the same time, applicants should also be given a study place whose high school diploma would otherwise not have been sufficient for admission . The master plan is expected to be passed in March of this year in a federal-state agreement.
Students see in Landarztquote the wrong means
This Landarztquote is controversial. On the one hand, experts fear new opportunities to sue for a university place. On the other hand, it limits the free career choice of doctors . The Federal Agency of Medical Students (bvmd) also sees the plan as highly critical. Opposite finanzen.de spokeswoman Carolin Siech the concerns of the bvmd: “We students are convinced that with a country doctor quota only the reasons for the country doctor shortage would be concealed. In order to tackle the problem of impending medical shortages in rural areas, on the other hand, a significant increase in the attractiveness of continuing education and working conditions for doctors in rural areas is needed. “
Medical students shy away from economic risk
The Medical Association Marburger Bund has investigated in the MB-Studi-Barometer 2016, why so few young physicians decide for the Landarzttätigkeit. To this end, 1,756 students were interviewed. Thus, it is not just rural work that scares off future physicians. Also, the branch as a family doctor is unattractive for many students as a perspective . As reasons are often called “worse financial conditions and too much bureaucracy”. For example, one of the replies states, “Many of my generation later want to work in a team, and often they do not dare or simply can not imagine assuming responsibility as a single person for a practice.”
Accordingly, only 12 percent of respondents want to work later in a community or small town with less than 20,000 inhabitants . Carolin Siech therefore emphasizes that “reducing bureaucracy, ensuring adequate working hours and reconciling work and family life” are important means of ensuring nationwide medical care in the future. In addition, there must be sufficient continuing education programs for rural doctors so that more medical students can opt for this career path.
Telemedicine as an opportunity for medical care
According to Carolin Siech, in addition to improving working conditions, there are other ways to strengthen rural supply. This includes, for example, a better delegation of tasks : “It is conceivable, for example, that qualified field workers make wound photos on site, which the doctor can evaluate over the distance, and then initiate further local steps in real time.”
The federal coordinator for health policy of the bvmd, Jana Aulenkamp, sees in such forms of telemedical care an opportunity for the “low-threshold use of medical services”. Accordingly, “video consultation hours can be a useful supplement to save long driving time in the countryside, in which one can not pursue his medical work.” Not only the doctors would be spared it routes. Even patients could do without long journeys.