Over 1,300 hospital treatments unnecessary: Dutch doctors

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No image availableNL Times

Dutch doctor drew up a list of 1,366 treatments that are not scientifically proven to be effective. This rather-not list was presented to Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health on Friday, the Volkskrant reports.

International studies show that only about half of what doctors do in hospitals is based on scientific evidence, according to the newspaper. The other half is done based on common sense, empathy, risk aversion, ambition or money, according to a report by the NFU - dome organization of eight teaching hospitals in the Netherlands. 

The list of not proven effective treatments was set up by Tijn Kool, a researcher at Radboud UMC's IQ Healthcare, and colleagues over a couple of years. A third of the treatments are part of diagnosis, 40 percent are medication. 

The NFU is convinced that not doing these unnecessary treatments will save a lo of money. There aren't any official figures, but chairman Ernsk Kuipers estimats that only eliminating unnecessary examination for an upset stomach can save 20 million euros. 

According to Kool, doctors are trained to act, not wait. "They do things because they were taught to, or because all their colleagues do it. And don't forget the patient, who can insist on examination. Also money can play a role, not treating brings in nothing." The database of doctors' guidelines was updated this week to say that sometimes restaint is the best option.