Germany National OT News
One of the main topics DVE had focused up to now this year was related to the federal elections 2017 taking place in Germany this fall. One of our first steps was to identify relevant political topics crucial for the further development of our profession and publish these in our association’s journal. Our demands were and still are e.g. to create sustainable financing for occupational therapy, to adequately compensate for OT services, to develop appropriate working conditions, to enable direct access to OT services, to make OT programs more attractive, to improve the framework for science and research in OT etc.
We then provided our members with factsheets relating to the identified topics in order to enable our members to talk to members of parliament as well as candidates and raise the importance of occupational therapy for providing health services now and in the future. We followed up on our actions taken and invited politicians to our yearly congress and had a panel discussion. We made it clear that in order to meet societal changes and to secure the next generation of OTs we need modern and tuition-free academic OT programs, an increase in remuneration and more autonomy for occupational therapy and other health professions.
Moreover, for the first time in history, DVE can negotiate reimbursement with health insurances for outpatient services, without being limited to the increase in basic wage rates in percent. This is the first step to achieve adequate compensation in private practices, which represents approximately 50 percent of our workforce.
As of this year, our EBP-Database has been partially opened to non-members who can conduct a simple search in the database. The database includes more than 2200 German summaries and appraisals of studies on the efficacy, benefit and (cost) effectiveness of OT or OT-related interventions. The goal was to underline the importance of EBP, to support the implementation of evidence-based practice, to provide free accessible Plain Language Summaries in cooperation with Cochrane, and to make the EBP database widely known and known outside of our profession as well.