The number of serious but avoidable medical treatment errors increased by a good eight percent last year.

This is the result of the new treatment error statistics presented by the medical service of the health insurance companies on Thursday.

Accordingly, the number of proven so-called never events increased within one year from 120 to 130. The statistics are based on more than 13,000 specialist medical reports that were drawn up in connection with suspected treatment errors.

Surgery on the wrong part of the body or the wrong medication is considered a preventable and serious mistake.

Kim Bjorn Becker

Editor in Politics.

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In order to improve patient safety, the Medical Service requires that Never Events be reported as mandatory.

And not just him.

Stefan Schwartze, the federal government's patient officer, said that he is committed to establishing a national register for the anonymous recording of Never Events.

The data from such a mandatory reporting system could form the basis for systematically recording and analyzing such events, Schwartze said.

"On the basis of the results, necessary preventive measures can be derived and it can also be checked whether they work in practice."

Last year, the medical service confirmed treatment errors in a total of 3665 cases, and the patient suffered damage in 2709 cases.

The numbers are slightly lower than in 2020, the first year of the corona pandemic.

"The number of unreported medical errors is well above what is visible in the assessment statistics," said Stefan Gronemeyer, CEO of the Federal Medical Service, at the presentation of the report.

Alleged treatment errors were mainly investigated in connection with hospital treatment, only a third of the allegations were related to treatment in doctor's offices.

Almost a third of all allegations related to the field of orthopedics and trauma surgery, around twelve percent to internal medicine and general medicine, almost nine percent each to gynecology and obstetrics as well as general and abdominal surgery.

"Accumulations show that patients react when a treatment does not meet their expectations," said Astrid Zobel, the senior physician at the Bavarian Medical Service.

Errors in surgical procedures are easier for patients to recognize than medication errors.

This must be taken into account in the figures.