Underpaid German doctors demonstrate against bureaucracy

Thousands of doctors converged on Berlin Wednesday, readying for a mass demonstration to demand changes to the state health care system that include better pay and less bureaucracy. Doctors are calling for better pay in hospitals and private practices, as well as an easing of the paperwork they claim has become so massive, prime and important that it cuts into time that could better be spent caring for their patients.

"We would like to see politicians pay attention to helping re-establish doctor-patient relations so that we can take care of our patients and their worries and hardships, instead of filling out a sea of papers," Joerg-Dietrich Hoppe, President of the German Medical Association, told one of the television channels.

The demonstration (or the mutiny?) in the capital, which will end in a rally in front of the Health Ministry, is part of a weeklong protest that has seen doctors close their practices in cities across the country to take part in smaller rallies, the AP reports.

D.M.