“Socialism is the best prophylaxis!”
The health care system in the DDR
In the second edition of our “Studies on the DDR” series we will be exploring the DDR’s comprehensive, free and accessible public health system.
Tailored to needs, not profits and with a focus on preventive healthcare, the DDR built hundreds of hospitals alongside in-work clinics and pharmacies throughout the war-devastated country. Hundreds of rural outpatient clinics and thousands of community nurse stations were also established in areas further away from urban health facilities.
By the 1980s, the DDR had also developed an efficient nationalised pharmaceutical industry that employed some 15,000 staff. Producing around 1,300 different pharmaceuticals, this industry covered roughly 80–90% of the DDR’s pharmaceutical needs and exported drugs to the Soviet Union and other socialist countries.
Our study entitled “Socialism is the best prophylaxis!” provides a more in-depth exploration of the DDR’s health care system. It will be published this summer.