The situation of the health-care services in the GDR during the 1980s has been reconstructed on the basis of the in part not previously released files of the Ministry for State Security (Stasi files).
A research application was submitted to the responsible German Agency to examine the Stasi files on district physicians in the GDR. 78 extensive files were made available and evaluated according to the topics drugs and other medicinal aids, medical techniques, building status, procurement of foreign currencies, hygiene, Chernobyl, appeals and shortage of physicians.
The Stasi files reveal a dismal picture for the status of health-care services in the GDR during the 1980s. The authorities responsible for public health and the Ministry for State Security were well informed about the existing problems. Towards the end of the GDR the Ministry of Sate Security admitted internally that research and technology were lagging about 10 years behind that in Western countries.
The discrepancy between the official reports and inofficial opinions was considerable. The Ministry of State Security worked mainly passively in an ideological fantasy world in which all such discrepencies had to be denied.