MEDICAL TOURISM IN GERMANY CONTINUES TO BE A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS

Joe McClain - Jan 22, 2018
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Annually, around 250 thousand people from 177 countries receive medical treatment in Germany. Around 100 thousand foreign patients are admitted into German hospitals. It is estimated that between 40 to 45% of foreign patients arrive ton Germany specifically for medical treatment. The European country receives more than 1.2 million euros annually as an income from medical tourism.

With these funds, hospitals employ more personnel, buy equipment and much more which is then available to all patients, local and international.

Most patients come from neighboring countries such as Poland, the Netherlands or France. There are also many patients from Russia, the Community of Independent States or from Arab countries in the Gulf. Above all patients from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait come to Germany.

However, the medical tourism demand of foreign patients is somewhat variable. Ten years ago, Arab countries dominated the market, but with economic and political changes their interest has lowered. Russia was also one of the dominant markets in the last year. But this has changed since the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict. Sanctions from the EU have had a large effect on the demand. Factors such as the fall of the Russian ruble or low oil prices have also played its role.

Medical tourism in Germany prospers well especially in university clinics or large communal clinics. For example, the University clinic of Freiburg or the Vivantes in Berlin. These are the most important sites for foreign patients. But private clinics also take part in the business, especially those offering rehabilitation treatments. The most popular cities among patients are cities with university clinics such as Munich, Düsseldorf or Berlin. The Frankfurt Rhine-Main region and Hamburg are other hotspots.

Meanwhile, the most requested specialties are orthopedics, internal medicine, cardiology and surgery. Patients from the CEI request oncology treatments, due to diseases that the Chernobyl catastrophe caused. Many other patients come to Germany because of tumors.

In the Gulf countries, due to dietary habits and little movement, there is a large demand for treatment of metabolic diseases, as well as heart ailments, conditions of the motor apparatus, eye diseases, high blood pressure etc. Moreover, these patients request treatment not offered in their home countries. For example, pediatric neurology or rehabilitation.

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