One out of every two Germans has difficulty understanding the package insert of their medications. They have trouble making sense of health information in the media or do not know when it would be sensible to obtain a second medical opinion. According to a study conducted by Bielefeld University, deprived social groups and groups with low levels of education are not the only ones affected by this insufficient health literacy - it affects all strata of society. This results in inappropriate behavior and therefore an increased health risk.
Health literacy means the ability to obtain, understand, and use relevant health information - an essential skill for patients to be able to make informed decisions in our increasingly complex health care system. In cooperation with Bielefeld University, the AOK-Bundesverband, Germany’s association of public health insurers, and Hertie School of Governance the Robert Bosch Stiftung is promoting the development of a national action plan on the topic of health literacy.
Following a problem analysis of the situation in Germany, a group of experts will identify target actions and describe the corresponding tasks and strategies with which the health literacy of the German population can be improved. The results and plan of action are to be finalized by the end of 2017. German Federal Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe is the patron of the endeavor.