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Many medical treatments are carried out for no medical reason
According to a recent study, medical decisions in German hospitals are often influenced by economic interests. The reason for this is the cost pressure that is weighing on the clinics.
There is a lot of surgery in German hospitals
Again and again it is criticized that too much and too quickly is operated on in German clinics. Many operations are unnecessary, experts warned years ago. A current study by the University of Bremen now shows that financial interests obviously play a role in why many patients in German hospitals are treated without a medical reason.
Focus on health interests?
Is the patient really the focus of his health interests when he is admitted to the hospital, treated there and discharged again?
Is the ongoing increase in the number of cases and the degree of complexity of the diseases to be attributed solely to medical needs?
Does the orientation of the clinics meet the health needs of the population? Or are these developments an expression of an "economization process" that increasingly blends medical indications with economic interests?
These and other questions were debated at the closing event of the study conducted by Professors Heinz Naegler (Berlin) and Professor Karl-Heinz Wehkamp from the Socium Research Center at the University of Bremen.
For the scientific investigation, the two scientists interviewed around 60 doctors and managing directors from hospitals in twelve federal states, as reported by the "NDR".
The results will soon be published as a book (Medicine in the hospital between patient well-being and economization by the Medical Scientific Publishing House, Berlin).
Doctors tend to offer profitable treatments
As the study shows, patient well-being is not always the top priority. According to Professor Wehkamp, it is the case nationwide that patients are treated in hospital without a medical reason.
"The system is at the expense of patients and medicine," said the doctor, according to a message from the dpa news agency. The hospital staff are also under enormous pressure.
"The results of the qualitative study presented show the dilemmas that managing directors and doctors are exposed to if they have to make profits to ensure the economic existence of the clinics," says a statement from the University of Bremen.
According to the analysis, for example, doctors offer more profitable treatment methods. In addition, the increasing workload among the staff creates health risks.
Pay greater attention to patient welfare
"It is frightening that politicians do not want to take note of this," said Wehkamp in the dpa report, referring to the alarming conditions in many hospitals.
"With this deficit in basic funding, it is very difficult to make profits even with a reasonably decent personnel policy," said the expert.
"If the patient's well-being were consistently taken into account as the yardstick for patient-related and entrepreneurial decisions, the number of patients admitted to inpatient treatment would be lower, the treatment processes could be more careful, expectant and less aggressive," the report says.
According to the experts, the hospital job would be “more attractive and healthier and the problem of a shortage of skilled workers would also be less. Provided, of course, that there were sufficient specialist staff and that the pressure on hospitals to make profits to secure their future would be reduced. ”(Ad)