Lauterbach wants to end free citizen tests for everyone
06/23/2022, 10:36 am
Every week, all citizens are allowed to have a corona test carried out free of charge. Federal Minister of Health Lauterbach now wants to cancel the offer as soon as possible and refers to costs in the billions. The tests should only be used in certain cases.
Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach insists on the end of free corona citizen tests for everyone. “The citizen tests have their value, they should continue to be offered, but they should be used in a targeted manner,” said the SPD politician on Deutschlandfunk. The topic is currently being discussed by the federal and state health ministers.
In the future, the tests should be concentrated on the areas “where they have the greatest benefit,” Lauterbach said. This applies to people who go to hospitals or nursing homes, people suspected of being infected or already showing symptoms of illness, but also “those who go to large events where many people can become infected”.
“The cost-benefit ratio has to be right”
To justify the restrictions, Lauterbach referred to the high costs of the tests, which at times amounted to one billion euros per month. “The cost-benefit ratio has to be right,” said the minister. The money will be used elsewhere. In addition, the quality of the tests must be improved and the aim is to prevent abuse. Without a follow-up regulation, the citizen tests would end on June 30th. “It has to be quick now,” said Lauterbach, “because I want the tests to be offered beyond June 30.”
With a view to the Infection Protection Act, Lauterbach said that there should be talks in the coalition on July 1, one day after the publication of the expert report on the evaluation of previous corona measures. The key points for a new regulation should then be decided before the summer break, said the Minister of Health.
Lauterbach also reiterated the goal of a new vaccination campaign and pushed for better and more up-to-date data on the situation in the hospitals.