Immediately before a nationwide doctors’ strike this Monday, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach questioned demands for more money. “Many practices close on Bridging Day; like the pharmacists, they also want more money. On average (median), after deducting all costs, they earn around 230,000 euros per year,” wrote the Social Democrat on the Internet platform X (formerly Twitter) And he asked – obviously meant to be rhetorical: “Should the contribution rate for employees increase so that the fee continues to rise?”

Thousands of general practitioners and specialists do not want to open their practices this Monday in protest against health policy. The association of practicing doctors, the Virchowbund, which is co-organizing the practice, accuses Lauterbach of being interested in the hospitals but ignoring the needs of practicing doctors. The association also mentions different sums than Lauterbach and speaks of a practice surplus of 172,903 euros per year and a net income – after deducting retirement provisions, health and nursing care insurance as well as income tax – of 85,555 euros.

The Virchowbund expects that a five-digit number of medical practices across Germany will be closed. He had called for the campaign, and almost 20 other medical associations and statutory health insurance associations had joined in.

Lauterbach wants to convert the health system “in the direction of state medicine,” is criticized. In addition, many practices are in distress due to inflation, high energy prices or a shortage of skilled workers. According to the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, there should be a comprehensive emergency and on-call service.