Pati­ent trans­por­ta­tion Exces­sive demands, unre­lia­bi­lity & stress

With the help of a patient's experience report, the problems of patient transportation are made clear below.

Initial situa­tion in Germany

Every year, 55 mil­lion pati­ents are trans­por­ted in Germany.
This is a con­sidera­ble num­ber when you con­sider how many jour­neys are made every day. Nevert­hel­ess, these jour­neys are not coor­di­na­ted, rou­tine and stress-free, even though they are part of ever­y­day life in Germany.

First of all, we will pre­sent the cur­rent situa­tion regar­ding the health­care sys­tem in Ger­many so that you can make direct con­nec­tions to the pro­blems addres­sed in the field report.
You can find a more detailed descrip­tion of the cur­rent situa­tion in our blog post Patient:innenmobilität in Deutsch­land — und warum noch viel zu tun ist.

  • 24,400 out of every 100,000 inha­bi­tants have to be dischar­ged from hos­pi­tals every year
  • Over 50 mil­lion ambu­lance and pati­ent trans­ports were car­ried out in 2020
  • 37 mil­lion jour­neys of this kind were made by cab or ren­tal car
  • Sharp reduc­tion in the num­ber of hos­pi­tal beds on offer (from 665,000 to 495,000 bet­ween 1991 and 2019)
  • Increase in tre­at­ment cases (from 14.6 to 19.4 mil­lion peo­ple bet­ween 1991 and 2019)
  • Shorter length of stay for pati­ents → more demand for transportation
  • Incre­asing pri­va­tiza­tion and pro­fit ori­en­ta­tion of hos­pi­tals → Clo­sure of less pro­fi­ta­ble departments

Image description 

Man sits in front of a lap­top and holds his hands in front of his face.
3 peo­ple at the edge of the pic­ture hand the man a cell phone, pen­cil, lap­top and sheet of paper. 

Expe­ri­ence report of a patient

I have been depen­dent on a wheel­chair for seve­ral years now, which makes it dif­fi­cult for me to get from A to B. Many bus stops and train sta­ti­ons are not bar­rier-free. I am the­r­e­fore depen­dent on pati­ent trans­por­ta­tion when I have medi­cal appoint­ments in hos­pi­tals or pri­vate mee­tings out­side my home.
In this case, I have to cont­act trans­por­ta­tion ser­vices to book a ride. At the begin­ning, I was some­ti­mes quite over­whel­med as I did­n’t know exactly which trans­port ser­vices offe­red pati­ent trans­por­ta­tion. As I am in a wheel­chair, I need vehic­les with enough space and addi­tio­nal equip­ment to secure my wheelchair.
In the mean­time, I have gai­ned a lot of expe­ri­ence with trans­port ser­vices by test­ing dif­fe­rent ser­vices. It is always a chall­enge to book a ride. I now book my trans­port ser­vice at least one day before my appoint­ment to avoid stress and com­pli­ca­ti­ons as much as pos­si­ble. As a result, I can no lon­ger be the spon­ta­neous per­son I used to be.
In most cases, I have to cont­act seve­ral ser­vices by phone to find a ser­vice that can pro­vide enough time, a sui­ta­ble vehicle and a qua­li­fied employee at the time. As these points are often not available, I have alre­ady agreed in the past to the ser­vices coming ear­lier than I wan­ted. This finally gave me the cer­tainty that I would be able to make my appoint­ment, even though I might be an hour early at the mee­ting point.
Unfort­u­na­tely, the dri­ving ser­vices have rarely been able to impress with punc­tua­lity in the past. I have often been late for my doctor’s appoint­ments. As the trans­port ser­vices can’t wait for hours for me to sit in the wai­ting room and wait for a new appoint­ment, it has hap­pened that I have dri­ven straight back.
Cont­act with the health insu­rance com­pany is also stressful. For medi­cal tre­at­ments, I have the option of having a large part of the tra­vel costs covered by my health insu­rance. This is also annoy­ing and very cum­ber­some, as I have to pro­vide a lot of infor­ma­tion for each trip. I was very over­whel­med the first few times and had to get help.
Over­all, the whole issue of pati­ent trans­por­ta­tion does­n’t inspire any posi­tive fee­lings in me, even though it’s nor­mally sup­po­sed to be a posi­tive thing. Namely, hel­ping peo­ple who are impai­red in their mobility.

Have you had simi­lar experiences?

If you have had simi­lar expe­ri­en­ces with pati­ent trans­por­ta­tion, you are wel­come to describe them in the cont­act form.
With your help, we could raise awa­re­ness of the pro­blems in this area in the future by sha­ring your expe­ri­en­ces and making them public.
Your name and e‑mail address will of course remain anony­mous and will not be pas­sed on to third parties!

    All fields are required. 

    Image description 

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    Fore­ground: Note­pad with the inscrip­tion “Share your Story“ 

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