SUMMARY: Doctors on sick leave by phone regardless of the crown | News

BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – Medical leave when calling – what was possible until the end of May thanks to Corona, should, according to the wishes of medical representatives, be possible for some patients on a permanent basis. “We want resident doctors to be able to write to sick patients by phone, regardless of the corona pandemic,” said Stephan Hofmeister, vice president of the board of the National Association of Health Insurance Doctors (KBV). , on Tuesday to the German Press Agency.

The president of the German Association of General Practitioners, Ulrich Weigeldt, called it “a real annoyance” with the numerous cases of colds and coronary diseases that the standard did not include the possibility of determining the incapacity for work by telephone (AU). care. “AU phone call would be a real relief,” Weigeldt told dpa.

From June 1, patients must return to the office or for videoconsultation in order to obtain a sick leave. In the case of minor diseases of the upper respiratory tract, during the corona pandemic until May 31, it was possible for up to seven days, even after a telephone consultation.

Such regulations are established by the Federal Joint Healthcare Committee (G-BA). The committee is made up of representatives of the medical professions, health insurance companies and hospitals and decides on benefits from statutory health insurance funds and on rules such as sick leave.

According to a spokeswoman for G-BA, it is possible to return to the possibility of taking a sick leave by phone. In spring, the committee discussed intensively “whether it was right that the previous special rules for sick leave should expire at the end of May 2022.” – said dpa. All sponsors of G-BA, and thus KBV as a representative of the medical profession, agreed at the time that such special rules could be withdrawn due to the quieter pandemic situation at the time. It took place in accordance with the daily relaxation.

“If the crown pandemic regains momentum again, the Federal Joint Committee may restart its special legislation …” said a spokeswoman. This can happen in certain regions or nationwide if necessary. Among other things, for this purpose, an application should be submitted to the committee. According to a spokeswoman for G-BA, this could come from committee sponsors such as KBV.

According to their own statements, the latter have already offered a permanent sick leave by telephone. Accordingly, health insurance representatives wish to do so “for both infections and other illnesses up to seven days”, provided that a visit to the doctor “is not absolutely necessary”. This would permanently take the burden off medical practice, citing the reason. They’re currently full from Covid 19 infections and disease.

Weigeldt said: “A personal consultation with a GP is not always necessary, for example in the case of a simple flu infection or even a mild course of the coronavirus.” As a rule, both sides have known each other for a long time, said Weigeldt. Abuses are very rare. “Instead, patients are now forced to drag themselves to the doctor’s office when they are sick, with no medical need.”

Statutory health insurance companies, which are also represented in G-BA, currently see no reason to call back on sick leave. This helped with the peak phase of the pandemic “and maybe, depending on the development of the pandemic, maybe do it again,” said spokesman for the Central Association of Health Insurance Funds (GKV), Florian Lanz, on request. “Due to the increasing number of cases, we are closely monitoring the development, but we do not see the need to act on a daily basis,” he said.

According to the Robert Koch Institute, there is now a sharp rise in cases of corona infection. It is dominated by the omicron sub-line BA.5. In addition, data and assessments by doctors and pharmacists show that there is an unusually high number of respiratory infections in Germany at this time of the year./bw/vf/jr/DP/men

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