Expert & Leader of department: Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Dr. biol. hom. Wilfried von Eiff
Expert & Leader of department: Prof. Wolfgang Greiner, M. D.
The demographic changes currently taking place in Germany constitute the second largest ‘mega-trend’ influencing the country’s economic future, after globalization. An aging society and its growing need for medical technology and health services, in addition to changes in the German healthcare system (which is moving away from a system of complete care to become more market and customer-oriented) are resulting in an ever greater socio-political significance to health economics. The healthcare market, which today employs around 4.2 million people and has an annual turnover of around 240 billion Euros and an 11.5 % share of GDP, is one of the largest growth markets in Germany, with the potential to create a multitude of new careers and jobs. At the same time, however, the healthcare market poses a particular challenge to economists: growing demand – which would, under normal market circumstances be desirable – has to be balanced against the problem of chronic under-financing. The task of the politicians is to establish a new financing system to facilitate sustainable re-financing of the public healthcare system. Any such system is in any event likely to mean higher personal contributions and greater personal responsibility on the part of each individual. By developing business models for refinancing, health economists can provide important recommendations as to how to create and run such a system.
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