• Germany's news in English
 

Doctors' group admits widespread corruption

Published: 13 Jan 2013 14:52 GMT+01:00

The German Medical Association has investigated just under 1,000 doctors suspected of corruption over the past few years, head of the association Frank Ulrich Montgomery told Der Spiegel news magazine.

Over half of the investigations concerned doctors accused of accepting bribes from Israeli-owned pharmaceutical Ratiopharm in exchange for prescribing their patients the firm's drugs – something Montgomery said was “clearly prohibited” under professional codes of practice.

“The Medical Association punished 163 Ratiopharm doctors after state prosecutors made the files available to us,” said Montogomery, who called for a change in the law to encourage this kind of cooperation enforcing professional law for doctors.

Montgomery also demanded more investigative powers for the Medical Association itself, so that it could “conduct searches very early on and confiscate files.”

But statutory health insurance companies said on Sunday they would oppose more powers for the professional association and demanded that politicians intervene.

“Corruption is not a minor offence which doctors can regulate amongst themselves” said Florian Lanz, spokesman of the GKV National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds."When the medical association demands police powers it has to be an alarm call for legislators,” he added.

Montgomery's comments confirming the scale of corruption among doctors came after a series of embarrassing revelations about doctors accepting bribes and manipulating waiting lists, which kick-started a debate about whether a new law is needed to reinforce doctors' ethics.

Montgomery said he regretted the damage the recent debate had had on the profession's image. “This ongoing corruption debate is a thorn in our flesh which is massively damaging the reputation of my profession,” he told the magazine.

DAPD/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:21 January 13, 2013 by raandy
I have a friend that is a rep for a pharmaceutical company in the USA and it has always been their practice to give the doc free meds, tickets, small junkets, items , green fees ect , nothing new here.

Manipulating waiting list is not the same as pushing a pharmaceutical companies meds,however, and should be taken very seriously.
19:21 January 13, 2013 by pepsionice
If someone came up and just offered a seven-day all-expenses paid trip to Italy once a year....I'd probably do the same thing. If you look at the salary structure that was tossed onto doctors....there's not much of an incentive NOT to do something like this.
20:55 January 13, 2013 by coffmap8
I am a pay patient at a dental implant group in Munich. They have really screwed up my mouth and the charges make no sense. Their product broke and I am paying? The technician screwed up the mold and I am paying. They do not fit right. I am paying. One side he had to grind down to bricksbecause it was too high. and the other side is like the fijords so deep my cheek gets caught in the sharp edges. I have to pay this bill or what other recourse do I have?. This has been and awful experience and they want me to pay over 10,000 euros!
04:54 January 14, 2013 by munir akhtar
this practice is now worldover. From simple medical practitioners to renouned sugeons all are involved volentarily or otherwise. It needs ammendments in local laws and international law to put down this practice and lavy heavy pannelties on doctors as well as pharmaceuticals / supplies / marketing agencies. This practice is not only putiing burden on individuals but also to governments for importing specific drugs and paying subsidies from taxpayer's
09:46 January 14, 2013 by gkh50
@coffmap8. The industry does not want people to know, there is a high failure rate for dental implants. The implant companies, actually give the dentists a high & of free implants and drill bits (drill bits are free).

Take it to your insurance company.
Today's headlines
Anti-refugee rage grows in Dresden suburbs
Demonstrators outside the Freital refugee home are held back by police on June 26th. Photo: DPA

Anti-refugee rage grows in Dresden suburbs

Freital, the town that became famous last week for irate anti-refugee protestors outside a new home for asylum seekers, saw a fresh confrontation on Monday night as local people gathered for a town hall meeting. READ  

Industrial production stagnates in May
A container ship in the port at Bremerhaven. Photo: DPA

Industrial production stagnates in May

German industrial production stagnated in May, but the overall upward trend remains intact, the economy ministry said on Tuesday. READ  

Greece crisis
Germany, France call for Greece to get 'serious'
Photo:DPA

Germany, France call for Greece to get 'serious'

Germany and France on Monday called on Greece to make detailed proposals to revive bailout talks, a day after Greek voters defiantly rejected creditors' demands for further austerity, plunging Europe into crisis. READ  

School hotpants ban sparks online debate
Photo: DPA

School hotpants ban sparks online debate

A school's decision to ban hot pants for girls during the July heatwave has sparked anger online, with feminist activists decrying the decision as sexist. READ  

Greece crisis
Merkel to meet Tsipras at Tuesday summit
Over 60 percent of Greeks voted 'No' in the referendum. Photo: DPA

Merkel to meet Tsipras at Tuesday summit

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel is to meet Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at a eurozone summit on Tuesday to discuss new Greek reform proposals, Greek government sources said. READ  

Students fight for life after chimney plunge
The Düsseldorf Kunstakademie (Academy of Arts). Photo: DPA

Students fight for life after chimney plunge

Two students had to be rescued by fire services after falling 30 metres down a chimney at the the Dusseldorf Academy of Arts on Sunday night. READ  

Lion cub raised in living room leaves home
Zookeeper Isabelle Wallpott with Malor. Photo: DPA

Lion cub raised in living room leaves home

Malor has lived at home with a zookeeper in the Eifel mountains for the last five months. Now the little lion cub is about to be reintroduced to his mother. READ  

July heatwave
Bavarian town roasts in record temperatures
A farmer waters strawberries near Kitzingen in Lower Franconia. Photo: DPA

Bavarian town roasts in record temperatures

The small town of Kitzingen in Bavaria registered a new record temperature for Germany, as the mercury reached 40.3 C on Sunday. READ  

Having kids later makes for a happy family
Children make us happy, but only up to a point. Photo: DPA

Having kids later makes for a happy family

Children are a blessing? Only for parents over a certain age, and then only up to a certain number, a study published by a German research institute shows. READ  

Greece crisis
How will Germany react to the Greek vote?
Angela Merkel has some more sleepless nights ahead of her. Photo: DPA

How will Germany react to the Greek vote?

Now that Greeks have voted against accepting tough austerity conditions in return for a fresh tranche of bailout cash, The Local asked Professor Michael Wohlgemuth of Open Europe Berlin how Chancellor Angela Merkel, other political leaders and the German public may respond. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Gallery
Who's got a shot at the German Film Awards
Rhineland
Anger over 'child-free' beer garden
National
How do you do, Majestät?
National
Man defends right to pee in public with tear gas
Features
The Germans who won Waterloo for the British
Frankfurt
Should Germany ban circus animals?
Hamburg
Where people are having the most sex in Germany
Culture
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Not this student...
National
Dresden's three-decade-long red light
Politics
Upper house calls for gay marriage now
Berlin
Berlin named 3rd-best city worldwide
Sport
In search of the toughest firefighter
Business & Money
German firms shine for European engineering students
Gallery
Hitler's paintings up for auction
National
German's 70-year search for murdered US pilot
Politics
What the G7 leaders agreed at Elmau
Business & Money
What really makes Germans happy
National
Playmobil builder leaves worldwide legacy
National
The car share that became a drug run
Politics
What Snowden revealed to Germany
Rhineland
Why wolf cubs are being raised by hand
National
Hitler's booze cave found
National
Environment makes Germany worth living in
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,862
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd