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Medical tourism is ever increasing. In Germany alone about 70,000 patients from other countries have sought in-patient treatment
During a 2nd conference in Germany to focus specifically on medical tourism, about a 100 physicians and representatives from the country’s Department of Economics, University
of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, met in Sankt Augustin to discuss ways to augment their country’s healthcare attractions for international patients, particularly from the Arab and Russian regions.
Jens Juszczak (University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg) introduced results from the 4th market study International patients in German hospitals: Markets – Services – Perspectives. These revealed that hospitals active in medical tourism became more successful than they were two years previously. The reasons, he explained, are the systematic development of new markets, particularly Russian, as well as more professional and long-term marketing. In her lecture Cost and revenue control, Leonore Boscher (Director,International Department for International Patients, University Medical Centre Hamburg) emphasised the importance of structured process flows and demonstrated where cost drivers arise and how costs that arise can be represented.
Swjatoslaw Aksamitowski (Knappschaftskrankenhäuser i.e. Social Miners and Mine Employee’s Insurance Hospitals) outlined which offers or services are of interest to Russian patients and how hospitals can accommodate such requirements whilst also having to control the treatment process. Professor Nicolas Abou Tara spoke of the type of treatments Arab patients tend to want, which regions and clinics they prefer and how hospitals can cooperate with clinics in the Arab states in the cross-border care of patients and via doctor exchanges. Hospitals in the Munich area are particularly preferred, he said. Inhabitants of the Gulf States see the city as international and attractive for tourism and quality shopping. Oriental patients, he said, tend to combine medical treatment with an extended holiday.
Although the contribution of foreign patients in relation to the total capacity of a hospital is comparatively small, their treatment should be viewed as a possible additional source of income, but this does come with a significant outlay. The formation of an International Office for the Control of Communication and Treatment Processes, an organisation for in-patient stays, covering visas through to aftercare, as well as efficient and longterm marketing were mentioned as essential prerequisites.
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