Man, these statistics just won’t stop coming in, folks. Remember the crisis in the German health system? Well it can’t be all that critical if Germans still lead the world in visits to the Doctor (they like to call him Onkel Doktor here).

Despite the recent introduction of a Praxisgebühr (doctor’s office charge) to discourage superfluous visits, the average German seeks medical attention 16.3 times a year. No, that’s not a typo. The average German sees his doctor 16.3 times every year.

The runners-up (limpers-up?) are Japan, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. They couldn’t ask the United States I guess because they were sick – at work.

Experts try to explain this away by stressing the structural problems within the health system here. Regular visits to the doctor are poorly compensated, so the reasoning, and that’s why doctors do what they can to have their patients come back as often as possible. And instead of taking more time with these patients and getting to the heart of the matter and really trying to solve the problem, doctors tend to quickly write up a prescription and move on the next patient.

Someone else has also pointed out the climbing number of doctors who opened up a practice in Germany between 1990 and 2004 represented an increase of over 40 percent. Of course in the meantime many of the younger ones are now leaving the country to practice medicine somewhere else (in England, for example).

This all certainly sounds reasonable enough, but other experts (like me) have come up with a completely different diagnosis: Hypochondria.

Come visit me at Observing Hermann…

Be Sociable, Share!