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German Breakfast Session

Dr. Albrecht Kloepfer – Büro für gesundheitspolitische Kommunikation, Germany

Pain therapy and treatment in the different health care systems of the DACH Region

The treatment of chronic pain is one of the most complex medical care settings: pain therapy treatments are not only oriented towards interdisciplinarity and interprofessionalism, they also require intensive patient involvement and continuous integration of the patient into the treatment process.

However, with its inherent complex treatment setting pain therapy is not solitary: Nearly all chronic diseases require a therapeutic environment in which different disciplines and professions should continuously accompany and attend to the patient in varying degrees. Within the universe of medical education and care, which is highly fragmented into many different subdisciplines, there is currently little to be seen of such approaches. This is all the more dramatic, since the treatment and care setting of chronic diseases in industrialized societies is now almost at 80 per cent of the total cost expenditure of care, while only 20 per cent can be attributed to acute care.

Taking this into account, it is a worthwhile endeavor to derive deficits and development potentials from the current pain therapy and care settings of the respective health care systems. The thesis put forward is that care systems are all the more prepared for the challenges of the treatment of chronic diseases, the more comprehensive pain patients and their therapeutic teams are found and the more treatment processes are presented administratively within the system.

The discussion is based on the following publications from the German Health Care Reporting Section of the German Robert Koch-Institute [„Gesundheitsberichterstattung des Bundes des deutschen Robert Koch-Instituts“]: No. 2 (“Palliative Care”), No. 7 (“Chronic Pain”) and No. 53 (“Back Pain”). In addition, the different expert opinions of the Council of Healthcare Advisors [„Sachverständigenrat Gesundheit“] as well as the different health reports of the health insurance funds could serve as a basis for this discussion. Health policy-makers from the different health care systems of the DACH region are invited to participate and discuss this cohesion among themselves and with the auditorium

Dr. Albrecht Kloepfer
Büro für gesundheitspolitische Kommunikation