Sip Germany

In this section, national initiatives which have been set up in Germany can be found.

Specialised Outpatient Palliative Care

SAPV - Spezialisierte ambulante Palliativversorgung

Specialised Outpatient Palliative Care in Germany

(SAPV - Spezialisierte ambulante Palliativversorgung)

About 25 years ago the “hospice movement” started - arising from a situation characterized by tabooing death and isolating deceasing persons. Since then a dynamic development has taken place in Germany. The hospice movement particularly actuated the societal change in awareness and attitude in dealing with severely ill patients. These changes were mainly driven by a citizens' movement and smoothed to way for palliative medicine.

Palliative care has the goal of maintaining, enhancing and improving the quality of life and self-determination of severely ill patients with an incurable very advanced disease and to allow them a dignified life up to death.

Since 1 April 2007, in accordance with the Social Code Book V (SGB V), patients with statutory legal insurance are entitled to specialised outpatient palliative care (SAPV).

Today there are about 1500 outpatient hospice services, 180 inpatient hospices and 230 palliative departments in hospitals. More than 80000 people get voluntary involved in hospice work.

At this all severely ill and deceasing persons must benefit from progress in pain therapy and alleviation of severe physical symptoms.

The German Parliament decided in a sitting on June 18th 2009 the substantial changes in the Social Code Book V (SGB V) regarding hospice care within the context of the amendment of German pharmaceutical law (AMG Novelle). The German hospice and palliative society (DHPV) had started the corresponding legislative initiative after having evaluated the current situation of outpatient and inpatient palliative services in a considerable study in 2008.

To implement the new range of benefits, the statutory health insurance funds first have to make contracts with suitable facilities or persons (service providers), in so far as they are necessary for adequate care.

More information available at the Bundesministerium für Gesundheit (German Ministry of Health).
Report of the German Ministry of Health on the Specialised Outpatient Palliative Care in Germany.
Additional information at or at

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