The Federal Ministry of Health
The Federal Ministry of Health is responsible for a variety of policy areas, whereby its activities focus predominantly on the drafting of bills, ordinances and administrative regulations. Moreover, by means of prevention campaigns, the Federal Ministry of Health seeks to improve the population's health.
All in all, the sphere of activities pursued by the Federal Ministry of Health can be condensed into the areas of health, prevention and long-term care.
At the very core of the area 'health' lies the task of safeguarding and further developing the effectiveness of the statutory health insurance. To this end, the Ministry conducted a major health care reform in the year 2007. This reform improved the quality and efficiency of the health care system and strengthened patients' interests while contributing to the stabilisation of contribution rates.
The area of prevention is becoming increasingly important. The Federal Ministry of Health conducts successful campaigns and initiatives in this area such as: '3,000 Steps' (a campaign against a lack of exercise), 'Life has Weight' (campaign against eating disorders), initiatives regarding women's and children's health and the action plan to implement the HIV/AIDS control strategy.
The reform of long-term care in 2008 constitutes a source of tangible improvements in the benefits provided for persons in need of long-term care, their relatives and nursing staff. For the first time, patients have a legal claim to individual long-term care counselling (case management). A series of measures are intended to help eliminate quality shortcomings in nursing facilities.
Alongside national health care policy, the tasks incumbent on the Federal Ministry of Health also include European and international health policy. Globalisation, modern tourism, the opening towards our Eastern European neighbours have created a situation in which we must join forces with our foreign partners to combat, at the point of emergence, new risks and dangers which we had prematurely consigned to the past.
Also assigned to the Ministry are the Federal Government's Commissioner on Narcotic Drugs and the Federal Government's Commissioner for Patients' Affairs.