Germany's Central Ethics Committee of the Federal Chamber of Physicians (FCP) and other relevant national actors called for a public discourse on priority setting in health care. Politicians, members of a Federal Joint Committee and health insurance representatives, however, refused to promote or participate in the establishment of a public discussion. A change to that attitude only became apparent after former FCP President Hoppe's opening speech at the annual FCP assembly in Mainz in 2009. The present paper applies the Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse, implemented through Qualitative Content Analysis and elements of Grounded Theory, to examine the development of the national public discourse in leading German print media. It creates a matrix that represents the discourse development between May 2009 and May 2010 and reflects central actors, their "communicative phenomena" and their interactions. Additionally, the matrix has been extended to cover the period until December 2011. Hoppe's arguments for priority setting in health care are faced with a wide opposition assuming opposing prerequisites and thus demanding alternative remedies. The lack of interaction between the different parties prevents any development of the speakers' positions. Incorrect accounts, reductions and left-outs in the media representation add to this effect. Consequently, the public discussion on priority setting is far from being an evolving rational discourse. Instead, it constitutes an exchange of preformed opposing positions.
|Translated title of the contribution
|The national public discourse on priority setting in health care in German print media
|Zeitschrift fur Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualitat im Gesundheitswesen
|Number of pages
|Published - 2012