5500 insured had turned to the statutory health insurance in 2017, because they suspected a treatment error in themselves, a TK spokeswoman told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur. That is an increase of 16 percent compared to 2016, he said.
Most complaints were about treatment by surgeons (1477 suspected cases). This was followed by dentists (920 suspected cases), general practitioners (546 cases) and orthopedists (351 cases). Internal medicine accounted for 221 complaints, gynecologists had 219 and ophthalmologists 216 cases. Last year, TK reportedly claimed back more than 15 million euros from doctors and clinics for the follow-up costs of incorrect treatment.
Medical law expert Christian Soltau explained: "Today, the insured are much more critical and self-confident than in the past." The "gods in white" are now normal service providers, he said. "That is why the phone rings more frequently at our complaint hotline."However, not every suspected case is confirmed in the course of the review, Soltau emphasized. But in about one in three cases, the evidence of a treatment error is corroborated. In addition, there is probably still a high number of undetected treatment errors.
Expert opinions are usually free of charge for those with statutory health insurance and can also be used to negotiate damages with the doctor, the hospital, the relevant liability insurance company or in court. In Soltaus's view, German laws would have to do much more to protect patients. Until now, the patient would have to clearly prove the fahler. This is usually difficult.