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German Institute of Health Legislation (DIGR) founded in Berlin

From the press release of the Free University of Berlin dated 31 March 2006

On 27 March 2006, actors from the main sectors of the health care system held an inauguration ceremony to mark the founding of the “German Institute of Health Legislation (DIGR)”. With coalition talks on the health care system reform about to start, in DIGR we now have an innovative organisation to take part in the discussions on reform processes. The foundation meeting unanimously elected Helge Sodan, professor of public law at the Free University and president of the constitutional court of the State of Berlin, as chairman and institute director. 
“Despite countless attempts to reform the health care system it still suffers from wide-spread over-regulation, which is slowing down this significant growth market in Germany,” commented Prof. Sodan. “It is the aim of DIGR to break down these structures through academic work and concrete, practical solutions. We want to make a significant contribution to giving Germany back the highly capable health care system the country deserves.”

The DIGR is an excellent instrument for achieving this objective. The law is not just the basis of all processes between doctors, patients, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies; it can also create a framework for new liberties that can revitalise and reorganise the constricted health care market, said Prof. Sodan.

With the academic support of the Free University of Berlin, DIGR’s special feature is to bring together representatives from diverse sectors of the health care system to work out solutions to common problems by means of interdisciplinary exchange. They are all united by an interest in a fair health care system based on partnership. The members of DIGR combine their different specialist backgrounds into one clear approach. Above all, reforms should benefit those who are the heart of everyone’s interests: the patients. However, the patients’ confidence in the system and its representatives has been so badly shaken that a meaningful reform policy is hardly possible.

Prof. Sodan: “We have to get away from a debate that only revolves around costs. What we need is a sensible approach that allows everyone involved to make optimal use of the potentials of the health care system.”