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JAMA 100 Years Ago
May 21, 2003


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(19):2588. doi:10.1001/jama.289.19.2588-a

The evils of contract practice and the extent to which the exploitation of doctors by workingmen's benefit societies has gone in some parts of the world are shown by a recent statement that a general action is going to be taken by the profession in Germany against employment by the sick-fund societies. In Germany, as in Great Britain, these societies have brought the average cost per call down to a ridiculously small amount. In the former country the average compensation per call is said to be only 4 cents. At Gera and Mülhausen the physicians have already refused to act for the societies, and in consequence these associations are obliged to pay the ordinary fees. Feeling is high, and at least one duel has been the result of the condition of affairs. We believe our brethren in Germany are in the right. We do not care to call the thing a strike, for this does not seem to be properly its name, though it has a resemblance to that movement so popular in this country at the present time. In England the same difficulties have been felt for a considerable time, and it will not be surprising if a general action similar to that of the physicians in Germany should be inaugurated there. In either case our confrères will have our best wishes for their success.

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