Timeline of healthcare in Germany

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This is a timeline of healthcare in Germany, focusing on modern healthcare system first adopted in this country. Major events such as policies and organizations are included.

Big picture[edit]

Year/period Key developments
<1883 Modern science-based medicine is shaped through endless scientific discoveries by German scientists. Some major events from early times concerning healthcare include the foundation of University Hospital Heidelberg (1388).
1883–1911 Development of the first healthcare system of modern history, starting with policies of the introduced Otto von Bismarck's social legislation.[1]
1911–1933 After the Reich Insurance Code (RVO for Reichsversicherungsordnung) is introduced, health, pension and accident insurance are integrated under one set of laws. The RVO becomes the decisive legal basis for health insurance law. Compulsory insurance is extended to messengers, migrant workers, and those working in farming and forestry.[2]
1933–1945 Under the rule of National Socialism, the organization, financing and supervision of the health insurance funds are altered dramatically. Self-administration is abolished and state-approved directors are assigned to each fund. Among important reforms is the introduction of health insurance for pensioners in 1941.[2]
1945–1990 Two states period: The German Democratic Republic (GDR/East Germany) and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG/West Germany). A socialist model healthcare system is adopted in East Germany, while self-administration is reinstated in West Germany in 1952.[2][3]
1990–present After German reunification, former East Germany assimilates to the FRG healthcare system. The unification treaty rules that federal German health insurance law is to apply to the new east German Länder.[2][3]

Full timeline[edit]

Evolution of life expectancy in Germany for the period 1875-2011.[4]
Year/period Type of event Event Location
1388 Organization University Hospital Heidelberg is founded. It is the first one within the actual Federal Republic of Germany.[5] Heidelberg
1456 Organization Greifswald University Hospital is founded.[6] Greifswald
1457 Organization University Medical Center Freiburg, a hospital and research unit, is founded.[7][8] Freiburg im Breisgau
1710 Organization The Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin founded.[9][10] Berlin
1783 Organization University Hospital Bonn founded.[11] Bonn
1834 Organization Klinikum rechts der Isar founded.[12] Munich
1854 Policy First components of social security created for miners.[13]
1865 Organization Martin Gropius Krankenhaus, a neuro-psychiatric hospital, is founded.[14] Eberswalde
1867 Organization Bethel Institution founded.[15][16] Bielefeld
1871 Development German national unity is established. Workers begin to organize labor unions, fighting both industrial employers and the Prussian State. Under pressure, business leaders begin to conceive the idea of developing "sickness funds" to respond workers.[3]
1883 Policy/development Under the rule of Otto Von Bismarck, Health Insurance Act is adopted.[17] Beginning of the national social health insurance, which is considered to be the first in history.[3] An estimated 5% to 10% of the total population is initially covered.[18] Coverage for blue-collar workers (in saltworks, processing plants, factories, metallurgical plants, railway companies, shipping companies, shipyards, building companies, trade companies, power plants), craftsmen, persons employed by lawyers, notaries, bailiffs, industrial cooperatives and insurance funds.[13]
1884 Policy Statutory Accident Insurance is established.[13]
1885 Policy Social health insurance in extended to transport workers.[13]
1889 Policy Statutory pension insurance is established.[13]
1889 Organization University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf is founded.[19][20] Hamburg
1892 Policy Social health insurance in extended to commercial office workers.[13]
1890 Organization Berufsgenossenschaftliches Universitätsklinikum Bergmannsheil, a teaching hospital, is founded.[21][22] Bochum
1894 Organization Berufsgenossenschaftliche Kliniken Bergmannstrost Halle, a teaching hospital, is founded.[23][24] Halle
1900 Organization The Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, a research institute, is founded.[25][26] Hamburg
1910 Report 37% of the population is covered by social health insurance.[18]
1911 Policy The Reich Insurance Code is launched, systematizing health, pension and accident insurance, integrating them under one set of laws.[2] Social health insurance in extended to and forestry workers, Domestic servants and itinerant workers.[13]
1914 Policy The health insurance law set down in the Reich Insurance Code goes into effect.[2] Health insurance in extended to civil servants.[13]
1917 Organization Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, a research institute, is founded.[27] Munich
1917–1918 Policy Social health insurance is extended to the unemployed.[13][17]
1919 Policy Social health insurance is extended to persons employed in public and private cooperatives, persons who are only partially capable of gainful employment and wives and daughters without own income.[13]
1927 Policy Seamen start to be covered by public health insurance.[17]
1929 Organization The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Medical Research is founded (later renamed Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine).[28] Göttingen
1930 Policy All dependents start to be covered by public health insurance.[17] The national total covered population reaches 50%.[18]
1933 Policy Under Nazi regime, health insurance becomes subject to total control by Berlin. Self-administration is abolished and state-approved directors are assigned to each fund.[2][3]
1938 Organization Bayreuth Medical Center, a teaching hospital, is founded.[29] Bayreuth
1938 Policy Social health insurance is extended to midwives and self-employed workers in nursing and child-care.[13]
1939 Crisis World War II starts with the German invasion of Poland.
1941 Policy Legislation is passed allowing workers whose incomes have risen above the income ceiling for compulsory membership to continue their insurance on a voluntary basis. The same year, coverage is extended to all retired Germans.[17]
1945 German surrender. End of World War II in Europe.[30]
1949 Political change Creation of the German Democratic Republic (GDR/East Germany) and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG/West Germany). Control over sickness funds in West Germany reverts to business and labor, while East Germany keeps a state-run delivery system.[3]
1950 Report 70% of the population is covered by social health insurance.[18]
1952 Policy FRG: self-administration is reinstated.[2]
1953 Policy Social health insurance is extended to refugees, expellees and the seriously disabled.[13]
1957 Policy Social health insurance is extended to all the physically disabled.[13]
1964 Organization FRG: German Cancer Research Center is founded.[31][32] Heidelberg
1964 Organization FRG: Heidelberg University Faculty of Medicine in Mannheim is founded.[33][34] Mannheim
1965 Organization FRG: The Hannover Medical School is founded.[35][36] Hannover
1966 Organization FRG: Uniklinikum Aachen, a university hospital, is founded.[37][38] Aachen
1966 Policy FRG: Health insurance coverage is extended to salespeople.[17]
1969 Policy FRG: The Act on Continued Payment of Wages establishes that blue-collar and white-collar (salaried) workers are to be treated equally in terms of continued remuneration in case of illness.[2]
1972 Policy FRG: Health insurance coverage is extended to self-employed agricultural workers.[13][17]
1973 Organization FRG: The German National Library of Medicine is founded.[39][40] Cologne
1974 Policy The Improved Benefits Act and the Rehabilitation Act are incorporated.[2]
1975 Policy FRG: Social health insurance is extended to students and all disabled.[13]
1977 Policy FRG: Health Care Cost Containment Act is introduced in an effort to keep spiraling costs under control.[2][41]
1980 Organization FRG: Heart and Diabetes Center North Rhine-Westphalia is founded.[42] Bad Oeynhausen
1975 Policy Social health insurance is extended to artists and publicists.[13]
1982 Policy Reform in the FRG. Hospital Cost Containment Act: Hospital expenditure, which was largely excluded from the 1977 Act, begins to be remedied in this reform. The common goal is to bring the growth of healthcare expenditures in line with growth of wages and salaries of sickness fund members.[41][43]
1982 Organization FRG: Augsburg Hospital is founded.[44][45] Augsburg
1983 Policy FRG: Cost containment law is reintroduced in order to control healthcare costs.[2]
1989 Policy FRG: Health Care Reform Act. Described as the most important statute on the statutory health insurance system since the Law of 1911. Aimed both at cost containment and at financing some selected improvements to benefits.[41]
1990 Political change German reunification. East Germany assimilates to the FRG healthcare system.[3]
1992 Organization Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association is founded.[46][47] Berlin
1993 Policy Health Care Structure Act comes into effect. Coping with a US$5.7 billion deficit among third-party payers, the German parliament imposes mandatory global budgets to physician, hospital, dental and pharmaceutical services.[48]
1993 Organization Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, a research institute, is founded.[2][49] Berlin
1995 Policy Statutory long-term care insurance is established. Germany introduces mandatory long-term care insurance to provide care for the elderly.[2][50]
1996 Policy Germany begins to allow citizens to choose from among sickness funds.[50]
2000 Report 88% of the population is covered by social health insurance.[18]
2000 Organization The German Institute for Health Technology Assessment (DAHTA) is established. DAHTA produces reports on medical, economic, social, ethical and legal issues related to the German health system. DAHTA is also involved in developing standards.[51]
2001 Organization Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, research institute, is founded.[52][53] Münster
2004 Organization The Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Healthcare (IQWiG) is established as an independent federal organization for the evaluation of medical efficiency, quality and effectiveness of drugs.[51]
2004 Policy Germany adapts the Australian diagnosis-related group (DRG) system as the sole system of paying for recurrent hospital expenditures, except for psychiatric care where per diem charges still apply.[51]
2006 Organization The Translational Centre for Regenerative Medicine is founded as a research institute.[54] The Gesundes Kinzigtal project starts. Leipzig
2009 Policy A new health care reform act is established in order to redefine the hospital financial system.[51]
2010 Policy The CDU-FPD coalition passes the GKV-Finanzierungsgesetz for insurance reform and the Arzneimittelmarktneuordnungsgesetz (AMNOG) for pharmaceutical reform in order to contain rising costs resulting from a demographic transition toward an older population.[55]
2016 Report Life expectancy in Germany is estimated at 80.68 years, being ranked 28th out of 228 political subdivisions.[56]

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "five branches of German social insurance". Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Christa Altenstetter (2003). "Insights From Health Care in Germany". Am J Public Health. 93: 38–44. doi:10.2105/ajph.93.1.38. PMC 1447688. PMID 12511381.
  4. ^ "Life Expectancy". Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  5. ^ "University Hospital Heidelberg". microdis-eu.be. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Greifswald University Hospital". Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  7. ^ "University Medical Center". uni-freiburg.de. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  8. ^ "University Medical Center Freiburg - International Medical Service (IMS)". healthregion-freiburg.de. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Historie im Überblick". charite.de. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  10. ^ "William Held Film: Charité Berlin [1919-1922]". filmportal.de. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  11. ^ "University Hospital Bonn". grid.ac. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  12. ^ "Rechts der Isar Hospital". sanitatis-international.com. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Till Baarnighausen, Rainer Sauerborn. "One hundred and eighteen years of the German health insurance system: are there any lessons for middle- and low-income countries?" (PDF). Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Doppeltes Krankenhaus-Jubiläum". bab-lokalanzeiger.de. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  15. ^ Enno Obendiek, "Die Theologische Erklärung von Barmen 1934: Hinführung", in: "… den großen Zwecken des Christenthums gemäß": Die Evangelische Kirche der Union 1817 bis 1992; Eine Handreichung für die Gemeinden, Wilhelm Hüffmeier (compilator) for the Kirchenkanzlei der Evangelischen Kirche der Union (ed.) on behalf of the Synod, Bielefeld: Luther-Verlag, 1992, pp. 52–58, here p. 57. ISBN 3-7858-0346-X
  16. ^ "1860 to 1880 – The Initial Years". bethel.eu. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
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  20. ^ "University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf". ResearchGate. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
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  25. ^ "geschichte". bnitm.de. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
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  28. ^ "A History of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Medical Research: 1929-1939". nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  29. ^ "Bayreuth Medical Center". grid.ac. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  30. ^ "End of World War II in Europe". Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  31. ^ "Figures and Facts". dkfz.de. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  32. ^ "German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg". phdportal.com. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  33. ^ "Medizinische Fakultät Mannheim". uni-heidelberg.de. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  34. ^ "University of Heidelberg". university-directory.eu. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  35. ^ "Welcome to the Hannover Medical School (MHH)". mh-hannover.de. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  36. ^ "Hannover Medical School". phdportal.com. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  37. ^ "Uniklinik RWTH Aachen – then and now". ukaachen.de. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  38. ^ "Uniklinik RWTH Aachen". europehealth.com. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  39. ^ Reimann, Iris. Erfolgreich recherchieren - Medizin. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  40. ^ Stam, David H. International Dictionary of Library Histories. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  41. ^ a b c Jeremy W. Hurst (1991). "Reform of health care in Germany". Health Care Financ Rev. 12: 73–86. PMC 4193657. PMID 10110879.
  42. ^ "Gesellschafter/Aufsichtsrat". hdz-nrw.de. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
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  53. ^ "Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine". ResearchGate. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  54. ^ "Translationszentrum für Regenerative Medizin - Leipzig (TRM)". uni-leipzig.de. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  55. ^ "Health Care Reform in Germany: 2011 Reform". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  56. ^ "The World: Life Expectancy (2016)". Retrieved 20 July 2016.