KEYWORDS

health
healthcare
hospital
care
polyclinic
GDR

“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.