Dialysis Privatization

The Best Healthcare Money Can Buy

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    • Physicians fear the growing number of international companies buying German dialysis firms will threaten their profession and are responding with a defense strategy.
  • Facts


    • Until recently, more than 2,000 dialysis practices and two nonprofits dominated the German dialysis healthcare landscape.
    • Since 2013, purchases by international companies in the industry have increased.
    • Due to uncertainty in the industry, in the past 20 years many doctors have chosen to become salaried than to establish their own practice.
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A dialysis machine source Fresenius

Dialysis machines act as an artificial kidney. Source: Fresenius



In Germany, the market for dialysis is changing – and it’s causing concern among thousands of doctors across the country.

Multinational companies are moving into the market and while the deal sizes may not be dramatic, there are significant implications for the care of kidney failure in Germany. Doctors fear that the new companies will buy up practices, pushing out independent nephrologists.

Until recently, Germany’s dialysis market was relatively stable, worth €2 billion, and dominated by 2,000 practicing nephrologists and two nonprofit organizations.

Now, though, more and more international companies are operating dialysis companies in the German market. There’s so much new competition that independent nephrologists are being forced to band together to fend off the attack.

There are plenty of examples of this new internationalization of the profession. Recently DaVita, a private dialysis company from the United States, bought several dialysis centers in Lower Saxony, raising its number of centers from five to 40.

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