Another health kiosk is to be opened in the Lurup district of Hamburg in the first quarter of 2023. The AOK Rheinland/Hamburg and Mobil Krankenkasse want to improve patients' access to health services and remove barriers, as the AOK announced in Düsseldorf on Wednesday. Health kiosks should offer low-threshold advice on health issues. Patients can have simple treatments carried out there, such as measuring blood pressure and changing bandages.
The current developments clearly show how important such offers are for people who find it difficult to find their way around the health system on their own, said Matthias Mohrmann, board member of AOK Rheinland/Hamburg. That is why the AOK is not only sticking to the financing of the facility in Billstedt/Horn, but is also creating another contact point in the west of Hamburg. Health kiosks are "an important addition to the system," it said.
In September 2022, the Barmer, DAK-Gesundheit and Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) substitute funds withdrew from funding for the flagship health kiosk in Hamburg-Billstedt/Horn. Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) is sticking to the project and is planning 1,000 health kiosks across Germany in the coming years.
The decision in favor of the Lurup location was based on a feasibility analysis by the health network. Accordingly, the challenges in healthcare in Lurup are similar to those in Billstedt. The health kiosk in Lurup was also expressly requested by 32 general practitioners and specialists as well as 14 social institutions and citizen networks from the district. "We doctors have seen that our patients become healthier if they can be comprehensively cared for in the health kiosk," said Gerd Fass, Chairman of the Billstedt-Horn Doctors' Network.
The health kiosk in Billstedt was started in 2017 as a model project. Its financing was uncertain after the withdrawal of Techniker Krankenkasse, DAK-Gesundheit and Barmer announced for 2023. According to AOK, a solid financial basis is now secured. However, those involved are disappointed with the decision by the city of Hamburg not to bridge the funding gap caused by the withdrawal until the law on the nationwide introduction of health kiosks, which is expected in autumn 2023.
Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) announced in his legislative initiative that 1000 health kiosks would be opened nationwide by the end of 2023. According to his plans, municipalities should set up health kiosks in districts that are characterized by poverty and finance them together with the health insurance companies. According to the cornerstones of Lauterbach's legislative initiative, the public sector should bear 20 percent of the expenses, while the statutory health insurance companies should be obliged to take on 74.5 percent and private health insurance companies 5.5 percent.