The outpatient center in the Dr. Becker Rhein-Sieg-Clinic
In April 2017, the Dr. Becker Rhein-Sieg-Clinic opened the first nationwide outpatient center for contergan victims.
As part of the opening ceremony, Dr. med. Ursula Becker, Managing Director of the Dr. Becker Clinic Group, explained: “For us, opening this center is an affair of the heart to contribute to the needed improvement of the healthcare situation for contergan victims.”
Most of the approximately 2.400 contergan victims in Germany are now older than 50 years and are increasingly struggling with serious medical consequential damages and psychosocial problems. They often face overstrained physicians and insufficient care offers.
To adequately address these problems, the outpatient center in Nümbrecht has put together an interdisciplinary team with many years of experience in the treatment of contergan victims. The "Competence Team Contergan" of Dr. Becker Rhein-Sieg Clinic comprises physicians of various medical fields, physiotherapists, ergo therapists, massage therapists and psychologists.
For a treatment visit to the outpatient center, up to four days of treatment are scheduled, giving sufficient time to approach all of the patient’s needs and concerns. Instead of an exclusively-medical consultation, the Dr. Becker Rhein-Sieg Clinic offers contergan victims a multidisciplinary diagnosis, including therapeutic findings, training suggestions as well as psychotherapeutic counselling.
Furthermore, an individual treatment plan is developed together with the patient. This includes “close-to-home” follow-up treatments including external local specialists and in cooperation with the Interessenverband Contergangeschädigter NRW e.V., also providing advice on everyday issues regarding necessary aids, living space adjustments, filing of possible necessary applications, as well as information regarding home assistance and care. Follow-up visits at intervals of several months are also planned to review the course of therapy on a long-term basis.
For legally-insured patients, treatment costs, prescribed remedies and aids are covered by statutory health insurance companies. Usually, private and state-aid insurance companies also cover the cost of treatment for the outpatient center. The costs of a sign language interpreter for the hearing impaired are covered by the respective statutory health insurance company.
The orthopedist Prof. Dr. med. Klaus M. Peters not only heads the outpatient center, but also has 17 years of experience leading the thalidomide practice of the Dr. Becker Rhein-Sieg-Clinic.
In cooperation with the Department of Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy of the University Hospital Cologne, Professor Peters carried out a study from 2011-2016 dealing with the consequential damages of contergan victims.
He highlights that while those affected have been able to compensate their damages very well for years, "now they are increasingly experiencing physical and psychological damages that require treatment, based on their needs" (Professor Peters, press release Dr. Becker Rhein-Sieg-Clinic 02.05.17). The close cooperation between the Department of Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy of the University Hospital Cologne and the outpatient center also enables patients to receive psychological support in the Cologne University Hospital.
A team of specialised physicians experienced in the treatment of contergan victims are part of the close network between Professor Peters and his team. If needed, they can be included into the treatment concept. The appointments are organized by employees of the outpatient center.
The outpatient center of Dr. Becker Rhein-Sieg-Clinic is open to all contergan victims from across Germany.
During the opening ceremony of the outpatient center in April 2017, the North Rhine-Westphalia Health Minister Barbara Steffens emphasized: "Many of you have no confidence in a health system, which often doesn't help you or only gives inadequate help, Nümbrecht is different. For years Professor Peters has built up a trusting relationship with you. With the center, we have now taken an important step in enabling you to lead a largely self-determined life in dignity with treatments based on your needs, prevention and support, even in old age."
For further information, scheduling and coordination with the outpatient center of Dr. Becker Rhein-Sieg-Clinic, please contact Ms. Irmela Aurich or Ms. Andrea Engel.
Dipl.-Betriebswirtin und Ergotherapeutin
Phone +49 (0) 2202 25 13 688
Fax +49 (0) 2202 25 13 687
Mobil +49 152 02 95 99 01
Phone +49 (0) 2241 23 57 461
Fax +49 (0) 2241 31 94 051