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Sat 6 Nov 2010 12:00 AM

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Holidaying for your health?

Prof Dietrich Baumgart, MD from the centre of Medical Diagnostics says medical tourism to Germany is booming

Holidaying for your health?

Germany being one of the leading countries for medical care in the world, it is not surprising that last year four million international patients sought medical help there in one way or another.

The German Tourist Association foresees a booming market in medical tourism to Germany.

With the respective 46 million nights of accommodation in 2009,  hotels as well as local shops, various industries and cultural institutions are more than happy with this development, and all institutions in Germany are looking forward to the prognosis of six million patients in 2010.

While patients from the Middle East prefer to travel during the summer months of June through to August, patients from Russia prefer spring and fall with steadily growing numbers over the year.

What Germany offers its patients is  medical care on a very level throughout the country. Centres of medical excellence are, however, mostly found in the large municipal areas where University Hospitals and private clinics, as well as very effective outpatient clinics work frequently hand-in-hand to the benefit of the patient.

Witth the growing influx of international patients, all of these institutions have increasingly adjusted their offering in order to service the needs of their global  clientele. For example, beside the medical focus,  patients from the GCC are frequently choosing  to go to Düsseldorf  because it is an urban environment with high security standards, as well as a clean and well organised city.

From a medical point of view patients seek medical care in the fields of cardiovascular medicine, oncology, plastic surgery, eye treatment, orthopaedic surgery, pediatris, gynaecology as well as reproduction medicine and many other fields. Besides strict medical services, other treatments include wellness, fitness and rehabilitation programs.

The German system allows patients to find medical care according to their financial resources. Overall, medical care is generally higher than average and can be afforded by patients that are insured by a normal health maintenance organisation. In addition, the growing number of private clinics combine supreme medical care with a superior environment and service for patients that seek centers of excellence.

Dusseldorf, the capital of the state of North Rhine Westfalia, is one such example, and as such, has become a hugely popular destination for Gulf travellers on a ‘health holiday’.

Within a radius of 70 km one can find seven university clinics with the highest medical standards worldwide. Cardiovascular medicine, oncology, transplantations and complex surgery are high on the list of patients. Medical care here goes beyond the large clinics.

The vast majority of medical problems can nowadays be treated on an ambulatory basis and in this respect outpatient departments and private medical offices provide excellent care tailored to individual patients needs.

It is this not surprising to find that hotels in the region are latching on to the trend for medical tourism, specifically catering to the needs of patients on a ‘health holiday’. The Breidenbacher Hof, for example is the first hotel in Germany with an integrated medical clinic and surgical and internal medical department.

This new unique set up combines the amenities of a supreme hotel with excellent medical care. Here patients can experience the utmost in modern medical treatment, combined with a high level of discretion and overwhelming service.

Of course, as well as the treatments on offer, which include specialised surgical treatment in the field of abdominal, thyroid, ears, nose,  throat and plastic surgery. the clientele  highly appreciates  the closeness of the hotel, in which the postoperative days can be spent in a most discreet and relaxing atmosphere away from the public eye.

While the clientel recreates in privacy the entourage steps out of the hotel and is right in the middle of Duesseldorfs high class shopping area which has by visitors also been entitled “little Paris on the Rhine”.

The internal medical department of Preventicum provides an excellent diagnostic as well as a therapeutic approach with a focus on cardiovascular and sports medicine and servers through its superior network as a gateway to a number of other specialities in the medical field. The direct personal connections of the clinical director Prof. Baumgart to other Professors in the field allow an individualized and targeted medical care and an immediate access to the respective expert.

The surgical department with direct hotel access to the Breidenbacher Hof  is specialized on selected surgical treatment in the field of abdominal-, vessel-,  thyroid-, as well as ears, nose,  throat and plastic surgery.

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