East Germans in a United Germany
The unification of Germany in 1990 created a dual economy, but resulted in health, wealth, and income gaps between old and new länder in the federal system of government. The eastern health care model was superseded by the western model in the new unified Germany. The population in the eastern part of the country subsequently experienced a dramatic improvement in life expectancy, primarily due to better health care. There was little discussion during reunification about maintaining some aspects of the east German health system, which may had improved health outcomes. The policy wheel has turned again with renewed interest in some eastern aspects such as ‘integrated care’ and policlinics.
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