Membership in Organisations

Membership in European and international organisations

DKG is itself member in several international organisations and represents the interests of its fellow members on the EU level. This becomes extremely relevant as the EU institutions (European Parliament, Council of the EU and European Commission) can set binding law, sometimes directly affecting the organisation and the delivery of healthcare in German hospitals. Regulations, directives and other decisions of EU institutions are relevant for German healthcare policies to only a limited scope as the EU Lisbon treaty is saving the competences for the organisation and financing of the healthcare systems to EU member states themselves. But other policy areas as e.g. energy or labour law and especially the requirements of EU’s internal market strongly affect German hospitals in their daily organisation. Thus, DKG is monitoring all relevant EU policy developments by maintaining an own EU liaison office in Brussels and by membership in the European hospital organisation.


DKG is founding member of HOPE – European Hospital and Healthcare Federation with its headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. This organisation has 35 member organisations from 28 EU member states and Switzerland as well as from EU candidate state Serbia, representing round about 15.000 hospitals and healthcare facilities in Europe. The aim of the organisation is the representation of hospitals’ interests to the EU institutions and to foster the exchange of experience cross border.


On international level there is no such a supranational organisation as the EU. Thus, as no binding law can be set up on the global level, the tasks and goals of international stakeholder organisations are less focussed. A main – and very important – task is the exchange of experience and the discussion on best solutions. DKG is member of IHF – International Hospital Federation with its seat in Geneva, Switzerland representing member organisations from all over the world.


Germany’s hospitals provide healthcare at high level of quality and enjoy an excellent international reputation. Thousands of patients from third countries (around 1 % of the total number of patients in German hospitals) annually are receiving elective healthcare, may it be inpatient services or ambulant healthcare services.

The “Export Initiative for the German Healthcare Industry” of the Federal Government seeks at strengthening the good market situation for Germany’s healthcare industries (e.g. medical devices, pharma) in the global competition. But it also tries to raise awareness of people in third countries seeking care for the excellent offer in Germany’s hospitals. DKG is member of the export initiative.

National Contact Point

The inauguration of a “NCP – National Contact Point for foreign (EU) patients” became mandatory with the “EU directive on the application of patients’ rights in cross border healthcare” (EU/2011/24). Via these NCPs, EU member states have to provide information on the availability of healthcare services, on quality, prices and on possibilities for regress. By law, DKG is member of the NCP and finances the work executed by a unit of the Federal Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds.

Major source of the there available information on hospital care is the official German hospital directory, giving sound information on all German hospitals on the basis of their annual “structured quality reports”.

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