Saarland cancels aid for alternative practitioners

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Alternative practitioner: Saarland grant cuts payment

The austerity measures in the Saarland have also affected the area of ​​naturopathy: since the beginning of 2011, the aid has no longer taken on treatments by naturopaths. According to estimates, the savings will be around one and a half million euros.

In this way, the smallest federal state in Germany, behind the city-states in terms of area and population, compares the benefits of the treatment of alternative practitioners (and also visual aids) to the level of the statutory health insurance (SHI). Alternative practitioners' associations had unsuccessfully appealed to the responsible authorities since the project became known in October last year. In October, Minister for Home Affairs and European Affairs Stephan Toscani (CDU) informed unions and affected professional associations.

Alternative practitioner associations such as the professional and professional association of independent alternative practitioners express the fear that "in all likelihood Saarland will abolish the reimbursement of alternative practitioner services for its employees for cost reasons". The deputy group leader and health policy spokeswoman for the SPD parliamentary group in the Saarland state parliament, Cornelia Hoffmann-Bethscheider, accuses the state government of not having thought through its austerity plans. To systematically disadvantage the profession of naturopaths means that their cost-effective work could no longer permanently reduce the costs of the benefits. Ultimately, this would make it necessary to cut the aid again and again, says Hoffmann-Bethscheider on your website.

At the same time, however, the Association of Free Alternative Practitioners points out that it is not "necessarily a bad situation". Because private health insurance (PKV) could take over the part for which the allowance no longer pays. Since the largest insurance company already offers official supplementary tariffs, the association believes that other insurance companies will follow. However, gaps in the reimbursement of invoices made by alternative practitioners to beneficiaries should not be ruled out. In addition, alternative practitioners in Saarland should inform the affected patients beforehand. (tf)

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