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Germany passes law to attract doctors to rural areas

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d5255 (Published 16 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5255
  1. Annette Tuffs
  1. 1Heidelberg

The German coalition government has enacted legislation to incentivise young doctors to take over general practices and specialist clinics in rural areas, where the doctor to patient ratio has been steadily falling, while the numbers of elderly people have been rising.

But the opposition parties and health insurance companies claim that the incentive scheme will never work as long as there are no financial disincentives for taking over practices in urban areas where the number of doctors is already high.

The new law allows doctors practising in rural areas to be given a per patient financial incentive …

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