Obesity - the untreated disease

Obesity - the untreated disease

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Health experts draw attention to maladministration and discuss constructive solutions

Anyone suffering from a malignant tumor disease receives extensive therapeutic help. On the other hand, those who are morbidly overweight or obese are not adequately cared for. The general conditions of the German health care system currently only allow limited treatment of obese patients. Representatives of doctors, medical professions, health insurance companies and politicians made this problem known at a symposium of the German Network Obesity - D.N.A. during the Diabetes Autumn Conference and the Obesity Annual Conference on November 22, 2014 in Leipzig.

Dr. Birgit Schilling-Maßmann, general practitioner and nutritionist, used case studies to illustrate the minimal therapeutic scope for obese patients in medical practice. Only secondary diseases such as diabetes would be treated. The urgently needed immediate treatment of the cause of the disease by an interdisciplinary team of therapists has so far only been possible in individual cases on the basis of regional special agreements with the health insurance companies.

Eva Walzik, head of the Berlin office of DAK-Gesundheit, emphasized that the risk structure compensation (RSA), through which the health insurance companies receive their financial means, is setting the wrong incentives. Because the money is currently being distributed in such a way that health insurance companies with many healthy insured persons receive more money from the RSA than they need for their care. Multimorbidity, as it almost always occurs in connection with the diagnosis of obesity, is chronically underfunded in the RSA.

Dietrich Monstadt, Member of the Bundestag and rapporteur for u. a. Obesity and diabetes of the Health Working Group of the CDU / CSU Group of the CDU / CSU Group, is aware of the system deficiencies and sees a need for action for society as a whole. However, he did not stop at system criticism, but made the concrete offer to the professional associations, health insurance companies and patient representatives present to work together on a key point paper on the topic of obesity and to work towards a change in the framework conditions.

The German network Obesity and DAK-Gesundheit consider Monstadt's offer a constructive initiative and will continue their dialogue with the health politician in the New Year. (pm)

Image: Petra Bork / pixelio.de

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Video: Exclusive: Call for obesity to be reclassified as a disease


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