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Andrea Zürcher was refused medical treatment because she is an AfD member. Photo: Instagram
Berlin

Medical treatment for chronic patient refused for political reasons

A political quarrel should end because the means to solve it is provided by law. Health has nothing to do with it - at least one should hope so. But the case of an AfD candidate in the Bundestag in Baden-Württemberg has raised serious doubt.

Published: February 20, 2021, 9:35 am

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    Andrea Zürcher was nominated two weeks ago by AfD members from the districts of Waldshut and Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald as constituency candidate for the federal election. The 37-year-old has been with the AfD, deputy chairwoman of the Konstanz district association since 2016 and works for the AfD parliamentary group leader Alice Weidel, among others.

    The trained business woman suffers from a chronic illness and therefore has to see a doctor on a regular basis. This week, she said in an interview with Berlin weekly Junge Freiheit, she had a scheduled medical visit with a family doctor in Stühlingen, where she has been a patient for two years. The doctor suddenly terminated her appointment for her visit. The reason: her political opinion.

    It seems that when a relatively new political force threatens to take away votes from the established parties during election campaigns, even the ordinary becomes fraught with danger.

    Zürcher explained that he learned from the newspaper that his patient was running for the AfD. “He said that the relationship of trust was destroyed and that he could no longer give 100 percent to my treatment.” He would only intervene in medical emergencies, otherwise she should look for another family doctor.

    “I’ve never been so shocked in my life. I was in tears,” says Zürcher. Up to now no one would ever have never imagined that there would be anything like this happening in Germany. “It is equally shocking and sobering to see the openness with which the supposedly tolerant – speaking of itself as the middle class – society unabashedly and in front of an audience makes medical care dependent on its own political and ideological ideal,” complained the AfD politician.

    Does a doctor actually terminate an appointment with a patient who is regularly present because she is running for what he sees as the wrong party? A request from the JF to the doctor in question yielded nothing. The call ended after a few seconds with the words: “No comment.” Even further inquiries did not change anything.

    Meanwhile, the AfD candidate reported the doctor to the police on Friday for discrimination and a host of other crimes. According to the Basic Law, nobody in Germany may be discriminated against because of their political views.

    It is unusual for a doctor to terminate a contract with a patient since family doctors and health insurance companies benefit from such agreements. The former receive premiums from the health insurers if they can retain patients for a longer period of time. And the latter save because the patients do not do “doctor hopping”, ie go from one specialist to the next, but first to their family doctor, who then specifically forwards them to a colleague. An answer to a request from JF to the relevant health insurance company from Andrea Zürcher is still pending.

    The fact that the AfD is directly and indirectly disadvantaged is nothing new. Especially since it has been represented in the Bundestag and in all 16 state parliaments, cases have repeatedly come to light in which previous political practices are thrown overboard if the AfD could benefit from them. The currently largest opposition party in the Bundestag has also been hardest hit by attacks on people, real estate or election posters for years.

    But the fact that even doctors now refuse treatment because a patient is a candidate for the AfD, is a new frontier.

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