Interview with Lt. Col. MD Dr. Dörthe Lison, Head of the Dept. of Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation at the Bundeswehr Center for Sports Medicine and Col. MD Dr. Andreas Lison, Head of the Bundeswehr Center for Sports Medicine
Whether in private or on duty, anyone who is injured as a member of the Bundeswehr (the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany) is entitled to extensive rehabilitation. After all, the fitness for duty of members of the Bundeswehr is an important asset – the troops should always be ready for action. Social aspects also play a role, as physicians Col. MD Dr. Andreas Lison and Lt. Col. MD Dr. Dörthe Lison emphasize. Together they will give a lecture at the PRODUCTS&NEWS@REHACAHRE forum with the title: "Rehabilitation - Developing in peace to be ready for emergencies".
Care for members of the Bundeswehr is also provided in cooperation with civilian institutions.
Dr. Lison, which illnesses and complaints are the focus of rehabilitation for members of the Bundeswehr?
Col. MD Dr. Andreas Lison: We treat soldiers who have suffered serious injuries to their musculoskeletal system during deployment, on duty, or in private accidents, and whose ability to serve is endangered as a result. We also treat soldiers who have a complex need for medical aids after a very serious illness.
Dr. Andreas Lison
In addition, we care for patients with deployment-related mental illnesses whenever a so-called comorbidity has occurred. This means that they react physically with chronic pain and/or other risk factors such as metabolic disorders or cardiovascular problems occur.
All these patients have a vested right to rehabilitation, based on the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This also includes the right to work – for which one must be capable. In addition, we have a shortage of skilled workers and depend on keeping existing skills and abilities in the system. There is a lot of scientific research that shows that unemployment is associated with ill health. And that the longer people are unable to pursue meaningful work, the higher the risk. We are working to counteract this.
What is made available to members of the Bundeswehr during rehabilitation?
Lt. Col. MD Dr. Dörthe Lison: We can draw on sufficient resources, which is largely due to the fact that we work in a non-commercially oriented system. That means we can align ourselves with the requirements of military needs. In doing so, we work very closely with civilian institutions. For soldiers with very complex impairments, it is important to be able to implement the Bundeswehr's so-called medical-service-oriented rehabilitation.
Dr. Dörthe Lison
As the name suggests, this is really about the reintegration of soldiers into the service. What particularly distinguishes us from the civilian system is the fact that the process of coping with illness depends quite decisively on so-called "social capital" and not only on well-functioning structures and processes. Social capital is an instrument with which we can absorb the stress reactions of people who are suddenly seriously ill or injured.
There is one word that connects all soldiers: Comradeship. We as medics and officers also share in this camaraderie. This makes the medical service something very special, because comradeship is more than friendship.
Comradeship also means developing an attitude. It means giving support, but also putting a stop to it. Because a rehabilitation is not a cure! Rehabilitation is based on certain contents and given quality standards. This also includes the fact that rehabilitation is not carried out or continued if there is no longer any rehabilitation capability or no positive prognosis. In some cases, unfortunately, only therapy or care remains.
Cooperation with civilian institutions is indispensable for the Bundeswehr in this regard, especially in the earlier phases of rehabilitation. Because we do not have the same structures and capabilities in the medical service as they do. Moreover, cooperation is important to us because we depend on joint action and thinking in the event of national or alliance defense. We will also present this during INVICTUS GAMES in the TEAM RESPECT Area.
The Invictus Games will take place right next to the REHACARE exhibition halls. A good reason to stop by the PRODUCTS & NEWS @REHACARE forum and present an important topic: "Rehabilitation - Developing in peace to be ready for emergencies". Can you briefly outline the topic?
Col. MD Dr. Andreas Lison: What we want to represent is the thought model behind rehabilitation. The way in which we carry out rehabilitation. But we also show the social aspect of the responsibility we have as an armed force to carry out rehabilitation processes with competence. Because it's also about the question of whether young people make the decision to join the armed forces or not. Precisely in the knowledge that there may be situations where they have to sacrifice their health or perhaps even their lives. It is therefore our great obligation to ensure that soldiers and their families know that they will be taken care of in such a case. Rehabilitation is a very important factor in this. And this is what my wife, Lt. Col. MD Dr. Dörthe Lison, and I want to present alternately in a conversation.
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