GDV’s concerns on standardisation of medical treatments and other healthcare services at EU level

The European Commission’s consideration to issue a mandate to CEN for the standardisation of healthcare services and current projects in this field are seen with great concern by German insurers for several reasons. German insurers believe that standardisation of healthcare services undermines quality of healthcare and, ultimately, patient safety. Therefore, any intentions to standardise these services have to be critically questioned and assessed with utmost care.

The GDV’s most important concerns regarding standardisation of healthcare services are:

  • While standardisation of processes and products is easily feasible, standardisation of services, especially in the health sector, fails because of a lack of unified criteria.
  • A patient’s treatment is usually determined by individual factors (a patient’s individual symptoms, individual characteristics and the specific circumstances). A simplified and general standardisation would therefore jeopardise proper treatment.
  • Standardisation of healthcare services results in legal insecurity and unpredictability legal standards of medical treatment.
  • All legal uncertainties or irritations of the trustful relationship between patients and doctors can provoke additional conflicts and increase the number of claims, which could impede the market and the availability of insurance cover for liability insurances for doctors and hospitals.
  • For top-down as well as for bottom-up procedures (initiated by the private sector), authorities and competences of EU institutions and Member States have to be respected.

The GDV therefore pleads for restricting European standardisation in the field of services to those issues/subjects which are within the competence of the Union and where standardisation is reasonably applicable.

The German health sector is united in its strong opposition to intentions to standardise healthcare service on a European level. Consequently, the parties within the German Society for Insurance research and development (GVG).

The GDV’s complete comments as well as the GVG joint position paper are available in the download section.

>> German version: Comments on standardisation of medical treatments


pdf image
GDV comments on

standardisation of medical treatments and other healthcare services at EU level

pdf image
GVG Position

Standardisation of healthcare services