Too many operations in Germany

Too many operations in Germany / Health News

Nationwide average and interdisciplinary 15 percent more operations


In Germany is used too fast to the scalpel? According to evaluations of the statutory health insurance KKH-Allianz, there is a drastic increase in Germany, especially in orthopedic operations. Given this data, cashiers worry about the patients.

Is every medical intervention really useful? This question must face insured in the face of a new patient data analysis of the health insurance KKH alliance. The study found that in some areas of medicine, almost double the frequency of surgery compared to previous data. Since 2006, the number of interventions has risen by more than 15 percent (survey data for 2010). Accordingly, in 166,000 cases in German clinics was taken to the knife. Especially in the area of ​​the spinal cord and the spine was operated, as it says in the health insurance report. On the spinal cord an increase rate of over 61 percent was measured. On the spine, surgeons have operated about twice as often (53 percent) as four years ago. But also in the field of internal medicine, massive increases are recorded. Operations on the kidney have increased according to the cash report about 45 percent.

Operations due to financial interests?
Have people become sicker in the short period? Has any new medical evidence been developed that has led to this increase? Probably not, because the increases are interdisciplinary and point to another problem. Not only for financial reasons prepares the health insurance, the variety of operations headaches. For example, the KKH Allianz Ingo Kailuwei health insurance chairman said, "the significant increases within a few years are filling us with some concern." Many hospitals are currently experiencing difficult times and financial worries. Therefore, patients are often operated on, although gentler or less serious treatments would actually be much more effective. Here „there is a suspicion that it is not always decided for the benefit of the patient“, also says cashier Kailuwei. In many cases, surgery can aggravate the symptoms, especially in the lumbar and vertebral area, as recently well-known doctors of the portal „Unnecessary operations“ urged.

Specializations of the clinics demanded
The chairman of the board therefore calls for a stronger specialization of the hospitals in order to increase the quality of the therapies. „It makes no sense from a qualitative or economic point of view to operate every hospital as a general store with all its services“, warned Kailuweit. Accordingly, clinics should form therapeutic focus to „to offer highly professional help with special medical conditions.“

The numbers rose fastest in Hamburg. Here, interdisciplinary 36 percent more medical interventions were registered than in 2006. Critics see this as a sign of the progressive privatization of health care. Instead of the health of the patient, it is often only about the money. (Sb)

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Image: Dieter Schütz