German Healthcare System study

Date: 2019 May in Berlin, Germany

September 21, 2022
 A group of students and faculty from Texas Woman’s University, Central Michigan University and Texas State University visited Berlin for one week to study the German healthcare system. Topics during the week included history and social development, social and private health insurance and healthcare performance. The group also visited a hospital, two primary care centers, an elderly care facility and a rural healthcare project in Brandenburg.

Objective
Germany has the oldest social health insurance system in the world and was the first country in the world to establish a nationwide Social Health Insurance (SHI) system in 1883. The objective of the course is for students to learn about the German healthcare system in order to compare and contrast differences with the healthcare system in the United States. During the course, students will learn key facts about the German healthcare system from representatives of healthcare providers, insurance associations and regulatory bodies. Study visits at hospitals and other healthcare providers will give them hands-on experience of how the healthcare system functions in Germany.

Content
Students listened to speakers from Technical University of Berlin, the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance and the Hospital Federation to learn about the structure and governance of the German healthcare system. The group also had a lecture about long-term care, where the speaker from the Association of private social service providers talked about practical perspectives and future challenges in German elderly care. Further, they visited the Brandenburg area outside of Berlin to study a rural healthcare project.

Outcome
Students were satisfied with their participation in the study tour and found the content relevant to their studies. Many students valued the visits to the clinics, where in-depth presentations and discussions clarified how the German healthcare services are provided in real-life. Students also enjoyed visiting Berlin, which is an urban city with diverse culture and rich history. The group also had the opportunity to visit the Bundestag (German parliament) and go on a walking tour in the city

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