Notes de l'Ifri Notes du Cerfa

The German Health care System in the Face of the Coronavirus Crisis Notes du Cerfa, No. 156, Ifri, November 2020

The handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by the German government and health system has globally been perceived as a success because of a relatively low death rate.

Three main explanations can be put forward: first of all, an early testing and quarantine strategy based on a high density of medical analysis laboratories and the high number of local public health services; secondly, the treatment of patients in the inpatient sector; thirdly, the way the coronavirus spread within Germany.

At the political level, the handling of the pandemic can be characterized by negotiated agreements between the federal government and the Länder which has brought a high level of political consensus, despite some debates and divergences between the Länder. This sanitary crisis has also hastened the necessity to bring forward processes of change that have been launched in the German health system.


Patrick Hassenteufel is professor of political science at the Université Paris-Saclay (UVSQ) and at Sciences Po Saint-Germain-en-Laye.


This publication is available in FrenchLe système de santé allemand face à la crise du coronavirus.



Coronavirus COVID-19 German domestic politics German health system Health Health crisis Europe Germany