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Call for help: emergency rooms overflow


Health insurance companies sound the alarm: overcrowded emergency rooms due to minor illnesses
The emergency rooms in hospitals are actually only intended for emergencies. However, experts say that about a third of the patients could be safely treated on an outpatient basis. Due to this grievance, there is a risk that people with serious illnesses will be treated too late.

Every third patient in the emergency room is wrong
Up to 25 million people are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year. For years, however, it has been repeatedly criticized that too many wrong patients come, for example because of a runny nose or other minor illnesses. In some clinics, emergency rooms are completely overcrowded.

"According to statements by specialist societies, a third of the patients could be treated without hesitation in the private practice, so they do not belong in the hospital," writes the Verband der Ersatzkassen e. V. (vdek) in a current press release.

Cash registers require portal practices at every clinic
"More and more patients head to the hospital in an emergency, even if they could have been treated on an outpatient basis," said Ulrike Elsner, CEO of vdek. According to the health insurance companies, there is a risk that patients with serious or life-threatening illnesses will often be treated too late because of clogged emergency rooms.

The vdek refers to an expert opinion that was commissioned by the AQUA Institute for Applied Quality Promotion and Research in Health Care GmbH. The health insurers demand that so-called portal practices be set up at every clinic, in which patients should be divided into acute and non-acute cases. (ad)

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