Surgeons: Commerce in Medicine?

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Surgeons: Commerce in Medicine? Professor Dr. Reiner Gradinger, the President of the German Society for Surgery (DGCH), has warned, according to media reports, that for many doctors and clinics in Germany, economic as patient interests are in the foreground of their work.

(April 20, 2010) Professor Dr. Reiner Gradinger, the president of the German Society for Surgery (DGCH), has warned media reports to the magazine "Focus" that economic and patient interests are at the forefront of her work for many doctors and clinics in Germany. The DGCH will hold its 127th congress in Berlin next weekend and will address the issue there. Professor Gradinger cited back pain patients as an example, some of whom would receive therapies, such as the Racz pain catheter, which were profit-maximizing but not scientifically proven. The so-called Racz catheter is named after the American anesthetist Prof. Gabor Racz. A local anesthetic, 10% saline, cortisone and hyaluronidase (enzyme that can dissolve connective tissue) is given to a painful area, usually on the lumbar spine. According to media reports, the service should cost several thousand euros. Gradinger also stated that it could even go so far as to save on hip prostheses in older people. You could use the cheaper cemented version of a hip prosthesis "due to the commercial pressure".

Expertise and insider knowledge are required for Professor Reiner Gradinger's assessments. In addition to his presidency at DGCH, he is also the Isar CEO and Medical Director at the Klinikum rechts in Munich. So he should already know what he is talking about when he denounces unnecessary interventions that could bring more money than the patients benefit to the medical practitioners or institutions involved. So you can look forward to discussions within the medical profession at the DGCH congress next weekend at the ICC in Berlin, where the issue will be discussed and discussed further. (Thorsten Fischer, HP Osteopathy)

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