An Appreciation of Dr Franz Schonenberger – High Cost of Health Care Not New

Communities in the early 1900’s in Germany faced the same financial issues as we do today with health care cost exploding based on drug medicine, surgeries, and treatments. Then, as now medical science produced few cures and increased the barrage of illness that creates a burden on society. Officials in Germany, in hope of relief from the problem opened a nature cure hospital in 1927 with the hope that nature cure could lower those costs.Appointed to run this new hospital was Professor Franz Schonenberger MD. (1865-1933) Schonenberger was chosen because of his familiarity with the nature cure systems prior to becoming a medical doctor. After graduation from medical school his dislike of the medicine used he quickly drifted back to the nature cure philosophy. He was labeled a quack by his fellow doctors when he set up a practice as a nature doctor, which became successful in spite of the label. He advocated:
o Water treatments
o Light and air baths
o Small portions of meat and eggs
o Green salads
o CounselingSchonenberger’s treatments were simple and modest in while treating nearly 30,000 cases. He lectured on a regular basis and talked about the issues of why a person was sick in the first place. Each patient was individually questioned and treated according to their individual needs. His treatment cost was minuscule when compared to a visit to a regular hospital and that infuriated the medical doctors even more.During the nine years he ran the (hospital) renamed to University Clinic for Natural Living and Healing 25,000 patients, mostly poor received counseling and treatment. They received:
o 250,000 bath were administered
o 56,000 received electrotherapy treatments
o 4,500 received Swedish Massage
o Personalized counseling with each patient.The goal of cost reduction for the state was obvious as fewer people suffered from disease as hygiene and preventative medicine was taught along with the treatments. This same approach is needed today in America’s overburdened health care system. People who take responsibility for their health do not need a doctor except in trauma.