German taxpayers should foot the bill for long-term care home residents to enjoy visits from prostitutes, according to a politician.
Elisabeth Scharfenberg, a spokeswoman on care policy for the opposition Green party, said that she could envisage a situation where “sexual assistants” were made available to those residents unable to pay for such physical services.
Sex work is legal in Germany, where a tolerant attitude to sexual issues for the disabled and elderly increasingly prevails.
In the newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Ms Scharfenberg suggested that taxpayer-funded visits by prostitutes should be considered where care home residents can prove a medical need and can show evidence that they cannot afford to pay to visit a sex worker.
Some prostitutes in Germany already tout for business in care homes by advertising themselves as “sex assistants” for the elderly and disabled.
Ms Sharfenberg believes that residents enjoying this kind of service would bill their state-funded health insurance company as though it were a standard medical treatment.
The idea has been dismissed by other politicians.
Karl Lauterbach, an MP from the Social Democratic Party and a member of the ruling coalition, said: “We do not need paid prostitution in homes for the elderly and certainly not on prescription.”
The German Patient Protection Foundation added that citizens have more basic problems to consider before the pleasures of the flesh, including washing and eating.