More circumcisions in Germany among boys

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The number of circumcisions among preschool boys has increased

The number of outpatient circumcisions among boys under the age of five has increased by a third in the past five years. There is evidence of accounting fraud.

A third more circumcisions As the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians informed the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (F.A.S.), the number of outpatient circumcisions among boys under the age of five rose by 34 percent between 2008 and 2011. For the years 2006 to 2011, the AOK health insurance company recorded a 30 percent increase in foreskin surgery, even though the number of insured boys had decreased by five percent during this period. Although a medical indication would rarely exist, the costs are covered by the health insurance companies.

Foreskin narrowing can be a reason A common reason for circumcision can be a foreskin narrowing that hinders urine flow and causes the foreskin to bloat when urinating. Here, the intervention of a urologist in the best sense of the word often equates to relief, because it eliminates health effects such as bladder emptying disorders as well as repeated inflammation and urinary tract infections. In general, removal of the foreskin is associated with a low risk of surgery and good cosmetic results. Nevertheless, as with any other procedure, there are dangers: In rare cases, the operation results in painful wound infections, bleeding afterwards or even urethral injuries.

A worthwhile business Circumcisions are a worthwhile business for pediatric surgeons. According to their own statements, they perform around 21,000 circumcisions each year. According to this, at least EUR 6 million per intervention comes to their coffers just by cutting. Maximilian Stehr from the German Society for Pediatric Surgery told the F.A.S .: "This also makes it clear why the outcry of the resident colleagues last year was so violent after the Cologne circumcision judgment."

Tricks on billing Research by the newspaper would also suggest that doctors would trick the billing. In the outpatient area, for example, the expensive foreskin plastic, in which the foreskin is preserved, is billed up to 20 times more often than the complete removal of the foreskin. According to an AOK spokeswoman, it is not clear which operation was actually carried out: "In fact, we cannot check whether the doctor wrote down the wrong code, i.e. carried out a different treatment than specified." (Ad)

Picture: Nicole Celik /

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