Warnings for gynecologists from consumer protection

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NRW consumer protection groups issue warnings to gynecologists

It is common practice for almost every gynecologist: When registering for routine cancer screening, patients also receive a list of additional services that they have to pay out of their own pocket. The voluntary health services range from breast ultrasound to bone density measurement. The Consumer Advice Center North Rhine-Westphalia has now started warnings for gynecologists, who they accuse of unfair business dealing with the fear of cancer.

Ultrasound examination of the ovaries has a negative benefit-damage balance. Consumers are particularly critical of the ultrasound examination of the ovaries, which is touted for cancer prevention. This is useless and even has a negative benefit-damage balance, reported Klaus Müller, head of the NRW consumer center. On the basis of the examinations of the medical service of the Federal Health Insurance Fund, the additional benefit for cancer prevention was assessed. By issuing warnings, the consumer advocates want the gynecologists concerned to refrain from certain advertising statements for the cancer screening. An ultrasound of the ovaries costs between 16 and 31 euros and must be paid out of one's own pocket by the legally insured.

Many gynecologists would appear as true sales professionals on their website, the consumer advocates report. It can often be read that the examination offers a significantly improved chance of detecting the cancer in good time. They even advertise that they can use ultrasound to diagnose cancer 70 percent earlier than a tactile examination. A doctor even advertises “scientific studies” as evidence, which he does not list.

Consumer advocate Wolfgang Schuldzinski explains that the consumer advice center is entering uncharted territory with warnings for doctors: "It is something that doctors have never heard of before being warned by the consumer advice center." by 1.5 billion euros a year for these services.

So far, neither the medical association nor the professional and professional association of gynecologists have commented on the warnings.

Aggressive marketing in doctor's surgeries unsettles patients Recently, the SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag brought in an application that should make it more difficult to provide individual health services, since patients in doctor's surgeries are being pushed to the additional services "in part by aggressive marketing". The doctors naturally benefited from the lucrative business. However, the individual health services often have no concrete benefit or advantage for the patients, who would have to pay for the additional examinations themselves. In the worst case, the doctor-patient relationship would deteriorate sustainably. Therefore, in the opinion of the SPD parliamentary group in the future, this service should be more strictly regulated. (ag)

Also read:
Health insurance companies want to restrict additional services
Which IGeL services really make sense
IGeL services at the doctor are often unnecessary
Doctors are selling more and more additional services
Doctors as sellers of additional services
Hardly any useful additional services at the doctor

Image: Halina Zaremba / pixelio.de

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