Monday, November 18, 2019

In focus


Germany: Key player in medical tourism
August 2019 1686

From preventative care to rehabilitation or treatment for acute cases, around 2,000 hospitals offer visitors and patients from all over the world the highest standards of care. This involves using the latest technologies, ensuring transparent quality and hiring the best, most highly trained doctors.

Though medical tourism is important for the local industry, it is hard to source reliable data and even harder to drill down the numbers according to countries. Estimates based on a survey of the University Bonn-Rhein-Sieg stated that 253,000 international patients from 181 countries underwent medical treatment in 2016 in German clinics, and it can be estimated that around 50 per cent travelled intentionally to seek medical treatment.

For Arab travellers, Germany is in easier reach than, for example, the US, also more affordable and with its high-quality hospitals and professional medical care it matches the expectations here in the region. Many hospitals and clinics are perfectly equipped to accommodate Gulf travellers and e.g. have special ‘comfort zones’ so that patients and their accompanying family members are provided with privacy and discretion. It is also common to meet Arabic speaking staff, familiar with Islamic culture and tradition.

Studies show that Germany ranks on top five position as per its medical tourism value generated, and great investments are being undertaken to further attract overseas patients.

German hospitals cover a wide spectrum. They specialise in areas ranging from internal medicine to oncology right through to cardiovascular diseases, which are constantly on the rise. Top German doctors working in various medical disciplines have received worldwide recognition for their basic and clinical research. By establishing close cooperation within networks of specialists, they guarantee the best care at the cutting edge of all medical fields.

Germany is one of a few countries that offer perfect spa and wellness destination, whether by the sea, in the mountains or surrounded by green meadows and forests.

Mineral and thermal springs, invigorating moorland and bubbling seawater for thalassotherapy can be found all over Germany.

This diverse range of natural therapies makes Germany an attractive destination for health travel, with over 350 rated health resorts and spa towns combining traditional healing methods with modern medicine. The spectrum extends from prevention to healing, recuperation and relaxation.

One of the very well-known wellness cities in Germany is ‘Baden-Baden’, the famous spa town grown into one of the world’s most charming healing spots, originally chosen by Romans 2,000 years.

With a total of 12 thermal springs in Baden-Baden with therapeutic powers that remain undiminished today, spa visitors experience the water that bubbles up from 2,000 metres below ground and contains minerals such as lithium and magnesium plus traces of cobalt, zinc and copper soothing a variety of illnesses including cardiovascular, rheumatic and joint disorders.

Though medical tourism is important for the local industry, it is hard to source reliable data and even harder to drill down the numbers according to countries. Estimates based on a survey of the University Bonn-Rhein-Sieg stated that 253,000 international patients from 181 countries underwent medical treatment in 2016 in German clinics, and it can be estimated that around 50 per cent travelled intentionally to seek medical treatment.

 

* The writer is director – German National Tourist Office, Gulf countries. For more on health and wellness tourism turn to pages 10-11  





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