With demographic change and increasing life expectancy, the number of people with multiple illnesses is increasing. Interdisciplinary care and further development of a holistic drug therapy should therefore ensure health care and care for the aging population. With the E-Health Act, the Federal Ministry of Health has legally established that people who take three or more drugs are entitled to a medication plan. In the medication plan, all medicines that patients use are clearly and comprehensibly documented with dosage and intake instructions. In this way, mistakes in taking or dangerous interactions can be avoided. This is a great help, especially for older, chronically ill and multiply ill people.
The e-health law also contains a roadmap for the introduction of a digital infrastructure with the highest security standards and the introduction of useful applications on the electronic health card. Both are also among the topics that the participants of the Health Ministers’ Conference are dealing with this year.
Another topic is the further development of the healthcare professions. The “Master Plan for Medical Studies 2020” and the Nursing Professions Act, which is intended to make nursing training more modern and attractive, are important steps here. An action plan is to be drawn up in a federal-state working group with the involvement of experts for the fundamental further development of other healthcare professions.
The health and medical care of refugees is a transnational topic that was also discussed at the Health Ministers’ Conference. The Federal Ministry of Health supports this with numerous measures. For example, a nationwide uniform standard was introduced for the provision of vaccinations for refugees, to which the Robert Koch Institute in coordination with the Standing Vaccination Commission Concept for the implementation of early vaccinations for asylum seekers after arrival in Germany has developed. In addition, the federal government has financially supported trauma centers and a number of research projects and events on the mental health of refugees. The Health Guide for Asylum Seekers from the Federal Ministry of Health, which has been translated into seven languages, offers an overview of the German health care system, examinations in reception facilities and practical advice on protection against illnesses and infections.
The conference of health ministers of the federal states takes place in different federal states every year. In 2018, North Rhine-Westphalia takes over the presidency.