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Health Insurance and Population Aging in Federal Republic of Germany: the Press Conference in the Federal Ministry of Health, Berlin 14 December 2010

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Mr. Stefan Kapferer, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, held a press conference for foreign diplomatic corps at the Federal Ministry of Health on 14 December 2010. Office of Labour Affairs in Germany would like to provide the summary of core details about labour matters as followed:


1)       Due to a health care deficit and demographic change, Federal Republic of Germany is set to raise the premium from 14.9 percent to 15.5 percent in 2011. As the proportions of old-age people and retired people increase and the birth rate and number of working-age people fall, the government has to endure an increasing cost of old-age people care. These challenges have forced the government to raise the premium and undertaken a health care reform in order to sustain the health care system. The reform aims to foster competition among insurance companies. In other words, insurance companies are able to differentiate their premium prices, which will allow people to decide how much they want to pay on premium and choose benefit-packages that suit them the most.

2)       Due to a rising trend for old-age people, the government foresees the important of jobs and works relating to elderly care. At present, elderly caretaker is not a popular job in Federal Republic of Germany due the type of job, its low return and image. Mr. Kapferer said that the Federal Ministry of Health sees that foreign labours shall be imported to fill in shortage positions. In 2011, labours from Eastern European Countries will be able to come to work in the Federal Republic of Germany freely. It is still to be seen whether how well labours from these countries can fill in this gap. As for foreign labours form Non-European Counties, at present it remains difficult to import these labours due to EU regulations. The amendment of these regulations will require operation in policy level and will take time.

3)       In 2011, the Federal Ministry of Health places importance on 2 following issues: elderly health care reform and public health management in rural areas.