The CDU stays true to itself when it comes to health and care

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Written By Kampretz Bianca

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Friedrich Merz (CDU), Federal President of the CDU and leader of the Union parliamentary group, presents the new basic program of the Union with the party leadership at the CDU Federal Party Conference. /image alliance, Kay Nietfeld

Berlin – Almost three years after its defeat in the federal elections, the CDU repositioned itself with a basic program adopted yesterday. When it comes to health and care, the CDU often adheres to old principles. There are only highlights and no concrete solutions are suggested.

According to the newspaper, the Christian Democrats want to maintain the dual system of legal (GKV) and private (PKV) health insurance. The CDU also believes that structural reforms are necessary with regard to financing the healthcare system. “To contain healthcare spending, we want to strengthen competition among health insurers. We are adhering to the financing of solidarity contributions”, he states.

At the same time, they are betting on “more personal precautions” and want to “raise awareness of the costs of policyholders”. It must be worthwhile for each individual to “use the resources of our health care system sparingly.” Everyone is asked to pay more attention to their own health.

There is a clear commitment to the “freelance principle” and “self-administration as a fundamental principle in all areas of social security”. For the CDU, the family doctor’s office must continue to be the first point of contact for local patients. This must be complemented by a provision of specialized outpatient medical care as well as high-quality, comprehensive and needs-based hospital care, as they say.

The CDU also wants to launch a “skills and skilled workers offensive”, and medical-technological innovations will also be used and developed in the future.

Other highlights include a call for more places to study human medicine, more regional health centers with emergency care, strengthening intersectoral and supra-regional cooperation, expanding telemedicine and strengthening retail pharmacies. To avoid bottlenecks in the supply of medicines, the CDU supports Europe’s ability to be self-sufficient in medicines and their storage.

From the CDU’s perspective, the issue of mental health needs to receive more attention from society. The party wants to focus on “preventive measures, early diagnosis and holistic care for people with mental illnesses”. The range of outpatient and inpatient therapy locations should be expanded. There should be more and better psychosocial support for older people who “suffer more from loneliness and depression in old age”. Children and young people should also receive more prevention and help offers.

There is a clear signal in the drug policy document. “We flatly reject the legalization of drugs. To achieve this, we rely on prevention, therapy, harm reduction and repression,” he says. They want to protect children and young people, in particular, from drug use and addiction. The places where children and young people spend their time must be drug-free and subject to stricter controls.

In nursing, the CDU sees family nurses as “a pillar of support for the maintenance of nursing care structures”. She wants “better cooperation between families, institutions, full-time nursing staff and neighborhood volunteers”. Strategies to combat the shortage of skilled workers and to address predictable household costs are on the agenda. The CDU wants to introduce “affordable supplementary care insurance” to close the funding gap in care. “We advocate more personal provisions and want to keep long-term care insurance as partially comprehensive insurance.”

Delegates to the party’s federal conference unanimously accepted the policy document last night in Berlin. It aims to provide the guidelines for Christian Democratic politics for the next ten to 15 years. The program lays the foundation for the assumption of governmental responsibility in the federal government, CDU leader Friedrich Merz said after the decision. He spoke of a “historic day in the history of the CDU”. Based on its new basic program, the party will now develop a government program for the next federal elections, the party leader said.

“As of today, the CDU program has been completely revamped,” said General Secretary Carsten Linnemann, who played a key role in drawing up the basic program. The party conference showed: “We are united, we are united, we are returning confidence to the country”.

For the CDU it is the fourth basic program. It replaces the previous program, adopted in 2007. With the sharpened positioning in terms of content, the CDU wants to programmatically support its claim to lead the next federal government, said Merz that morning when presenting the project. “We can govern – but we can also say with substance why we want to govern.”

From Tuesday morning until evening, around a thousand delegates discussed the 70-page draft program, drawn up over two years of work. The party conference received around 2,200 amendments, which were processed in around ten hours of debate.

The CDU is placing a more conservative emphasis in its new program, especially when it comes to migration and social policy. Surprisingly, the delegates also voted to include a gradual return to compulsory military service in the program – the draft did not initially provide for this, but the Junge Union then pushed the passage to the delegates. She justified this with the need to strengthen the Bundeswehr in view of the threat from Russia.

Conscription has been suspended since 2011. According to the party conference resolution, an intermediate stage on the path to its reinstatement should be the so-called contingent military service requirement. All men and women would be called up, but only some would be called up, depending on the needs of the Bundeswehr.

The general objective of the CDU remains the already decided mandatory year of service, which can be completed both in the Bundeswehr and in social institutions. In its basic program, the CDU demands that immigrants commit to the dominant German culture “without ifs and buts”.

The CDU briefly describes its objectives as follows: “We want a free and safe country; a society that holds together and opens up opportunities; an economy that creates prosperity for all; a sustainable and sovereign Germany; a state that works and advances.” © may/afp/aerzteblatt.de

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