Multidisciplinary cooperation necessary as O&P moves forward

LEIPZIG, Germany — Klaus-Jürgen Lotz, president of Orthopädie-Technik, discussed the changing landscape of O&P and the orthopedic market in his keynote address at OT World Congress, here.

In Germany’s universal, statutory multi-payer health care system, solidarity and benefits in kind are basic principles, he said.

“We are committed to solidarity so the benefits in kind can be provided, but for how long will I be able  to afford this expensive care if less and less people can pay for it?” Lotz said.

New O&P technology and expertise shows promise, but Lotz questioned who will pay for it. As the population ages and demand for O&P and orthopedic services grows, the call for interdisciplinary cooperation is necessary, he said.

“We have worked strenuously so everyone can have a share in the market, but what professions will do the assistance in the fittings? Will that be orthopedic shoe technicians, the orthopedic technicians, the nurses, the physiotherapists, the doctors?” he said,

The O&P profession needs adequately trained people, “and that is where we have to tread jointly, and we also have to listen to one another,” Lotz said.

“We want to move forward with implementing orthopedic innovation and technology in a multidisciplinary way. We have a massively growing market for the future. We don’t need to worry about our basic existence. The target is to achieve the most efficient assistance for the patient. Fight for the best piece of the cake and carry on.”— by Carey Cowles

For more information:

Lotz KJ. Prosthetics and orthotics in a changing society. Presented at: OT World Congress; May 12-16, 2014; Leipzig, Germany.

Disclosure: Lotz has no relevant financial disclosures.

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