2011 Survey of Health Care Consumers in Germany
Global survey of health care consumers
The 2011 survey documents several core consumer attitudes and preferences about the German health care system. For example, when asked about the top three reasons for inefficiency in health care provision, German consumers take an interesting stance: 65 percent cite overall administrative issues as the source of inefficiencies, yet 46 percent state that individuals do not behave responsibly enough in managing their personal health, and a surprising 41 percent claim the absence of evidence-based approaches is the main reason for system inefficiencies observed today. We believe that the latter two figures clearly illustrate how educated and alert German consumers have become in understanding the underlying mechanisms of efficient health care provision.
Among survey key findings:
- German consumers hold mixed views about the performance of their health care system: 4 in 10 believe that the system performs well; others believe that the system is wasteful and performance is not optimal.
- Over half (52 percent) of German consumers spend as much as they need to on health care goods and services. In comparison to 2010, more German citizens in 2011 feel confident about their ability to handle future health care costs.
- Less than 10 percent have household members receiving home care. The primary care providers are spouses. Care duration is most often for more than two years.
- Less than half of German consumers say their personal health status is “excellent” or “very good.” Half have at least one chronic condition. 1 in 10 participates in healthy living/wellness programs.
- Few consumers use health-related websites or the Internet as trusted sources of information for best treatments or treatment costs.
- Consumers are more willing to travel for necessary care than for elective treatment; distance from home influences how far they are willing to go, but so do quality, access, and cost.
- One in four consumers says they used alternative therapies; fewer say they used alternative therapies in addition to or as a substitute for traditional therapies.
- 6 in 10 consumers have supplemental insurance and most consumers believe they are well-insured or adequately insured across public and private plans.
- Consumers are aware of reform efforts under way in Germany's health care system and believe it important in future political campaigns.
The 2011 Survey of Health Care Consumers in Germany offers health care industry leaders and policy makers a timely look at how health care consumerism is evolving, as well as a comprehensive perspective on how Germans approach their health, health care, and health insurance.