Prevention in politics and society
Even in politics, the signs of the times are recognized. For some years now it has been discussed how and in what form the demand for prevention could be anchored by law. This seems all the more important because in recent years increasing savings of social benefits in the federal budget led to limitations of previous activities of the health insurance funds in health promotion and health promotion measures may only be financed within a well-defined, narrow framework with insurance premiums.
The prevention law
Unfortunately, the discussion is drawing on the draft of the "Law to Strengthen Health Prevention" published at the beginning of 2007. In addition to the acute treatment of illnesses, rehabilitation and care, this law was intended to establish prevention as the fourth, independent pillar and thus to improve its status. The aim is to promote good health and prevent chronic diseases, thus improving the quality of life and saving costs.
The Prevention Act as one of the few unrealized projects agreed in the coalition agreement is proving to be a tough one - in 2008 it was already being talked about in person behind its own failure. Currently, the parties are again in talks for a solution - an end is currently not in sight. Important in prevention measures is that as many people as possible or those affected are reached. Therefore, education, preventive measures and their implementation should not be practiced in the "quiet little room", but should be located in a direct living environment. These include, for example, kindergartens and schools, businesses and communal areas, sports clubs and senior citizens' institutions.
Sustainability of the measures is also important here - local, short-term actionism usually has no demonstrable effect. The personal responsibility of the individual is an important basis of prevention. He is supported by "social prevention funds" such as statutory health insurance and carriers of statutory pension, accident and long-term care insurance. Doctors also have to do more and more in an educational, advisory and accompanying role.
Where can prevention begin?
In order to achieve medium- and long-term success through prevention, different levels and starting points must interlink. In addition to a health-promoting overall policy, the living worlds for society and the individual must be designed accordingly, health-related community activities promoted and individual knowledge increased.
In order to align the health services accordingly, the framework conditions must also be adapted. Qualified people must be available at all levels to acquire, deepen and pass on the relevant competence.
In addition, legal regulations provide a framework - examples are the youth protection law or regulations on road traffic, which should influence the handling of alcohol and drugs. Interestingly, prohibitions and regulations are often more effective than measures to educate and communicate information.