Before the protest day of the pharmacies this Wednesday, Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach rejected their demand for higher fees. Of course, he understands that the pharmacies pointed out their fee requests and other problems, said the SPD politician on Tuesday in Berlin. However, he sees no scope for fee increases, he added with reference to the financial situation of the statutory health insurance (GKV).
They expect a deficit and an increase in contribution rates is imminent. "I understand that the pharmacies would like their fees to be increased, but due to a lack of tax revenue and increasing contribution rates, we unfortunately don't have the leeway for this at the moment (...)."
Criticism also comes from the Greens: "We need pharmacies as places of trust, as contact persons for health issues on site. I understand the concerns of many pharmacists, but a strike is really the wrong medicine," said Green health expert Janosch Dahmen on Deutschlandfunk.
Wish understandable - but not achievable
Dahmen gave the pharmacists little hope that their demand for more money would be met. He can understand the wish, but it probably cannot be fulfilled - because of the need to save. "I can see that the pharmacies are still under stress due to inflation and rising personnel costs. But politicians have reacted with corresponding gas and electricity price brakes for small and medium-sized companies and have tried to build compensation measures around them," said Dahmen.
At the beginning of a parliamentary procedure for an important law, which should significantly improve the situation of pharmacists and the availability of medicines that are currently not available. One must talk about how the work situation can be improved by reducing bureaucracy and digitization, said Dahmen.
The pharmacists' associations have drawn up a ten-point catalog of demands and are demanding, among other things, an increase in the fees for prescription drugs from 8.35 euros to 12 euros per pack. In order to emphasize their demands, pharmacists want to close on Wednesday and maintain the supply of emergency pharmacies.