Features of medical tourism in Israel, Germany, Korea, Turkey and India

Medical Wellness Tourism 2019

Thousands of Russians came to Germany last year for treatment. Someone for examination, someone performed a complex operation ... Is it difficult to organize? Germany is a very attractive country for tourists. People from all over the world come here to relax on the Baltic and North Sea coasts, go skiing in the Alps, celebrate the Oktoberfest in Munich and the carnival in Cologne, see the Sistine Madonna in Dresden, admire the many sights ... And get medical treatment including.

About fifteen years ago, a real boom in "medical tourism" began. Now patients from 128 countries, including Russia, come to Germany for treatment. Their number reaches 100 thousand per year.

Medical tourism and treatment in Germany

The most popular here are Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Cologne and Dusseldorf. Thanks to patients from other countries, German clinics receive about 930 million euros annually in profits. The high reputation of German doctors and clinics does not need much advertising. The latest equipment, highly qualified specialists, caring hospital service - this is why Russians come to Germany for treatment.

Russia now occupies the 5th place in terms of the number of patients in German clinics. In turn, 86% of German hospitals consider Russia the most promising for the development of medical tourism in Germany. Compared to 2004, four times more patients from Russia come now.

Only special visas for treatment in Germany in 2011 were issued 8000. At the same time, Russians who come on a guest or regular tourist visa and go to doctors in Germany do not reflect any statistics.

Prices for treatment in Germany bite

To organize their treatment in Germany, many Russians turn to agencies specializing in medical tourism. Russian firms organizing medical treatment abroad, as a rule, receive from 15 to 30% of the cost of the treatment itself, as well as fees for "regular" travel services, which can vary significantly.

In any case, it is better to know in advance what the cost of at least a course of treatment is. By the way, there are such firms in Germany itself. Their sites in Russian can be easily found on the Internet.

Usually, a tour operator organizing a trip to Germany for treatment collects all the necessary information about the disease, sometimes, for an additional fee, he organizes the examination of the client at home. Next, a clinic is selected from the list provided to the client. The tour operator contacts the clinic, arranges a transfer, an interpreter, a hotel, and so on - everything as when organizing a regular tourist trip.

Mediators help to obtain a medical visa in Germany. Medical tourism in Germany is a business that includes the work of several structures. Intermediary firms set their own prices for their services, and even the prices for an interpreter, say, in Berlin, Cologne, Munich and Baden-Baden are very different from each other.

The world of medicine has long been a part of globalization - in search of optimal treatment, people travel thousands of kilometers from home. Favorable factors for medical tourism in Germany usually include poor performance of the health care system in the home country, in which medical-technical quality and access to services are limited or too expensive. The German healthcare system is highly regarded outside the Federal Republic of Germany. In many parts of the world, there is an active interest in working with German clinics. Organization, standardization, management, training and further education, and quality assurance of diagnostic and therapeutic services are considered exemplary for the entire planet. German hospitals and educational institutions are in demand abroad due to the high level of qualifications of specialists and teaching staff.


According to experts from the University of Bonn-Rhine-Sieg, in 2015, 255,000 foreign patients from 177 countries visited Germany. Medical tourists generated € 1.2 billion in revenues for Germany's health care system. At the same time, the share of Russians and immigrants from the former Soviet republics decreased from 24,800 patients in 2014 to 16,760 in 2015 - by almost a third. With the fall of the ruble, treatment became very expensive for Russians, who began to travel to German clinics only for emergency or specialized medical care. Meanwhile, the demand for German medicine services is growing among citizens of other countries in Europe and the Persian Gulf. In 2015, the latter recorded a seventeen percent growth - largely thanks to tourists from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Another group consists of patients from developed countries of the European Union, for whom the waiting time for surgery or other therapeutic procedures in their home country is too long. In the Netherlands, for example, the waiting time for knee surgery exceeds a year. Thanks to the EU directive on patient mobility, patients can be treated in another EU country through health insurance. They prefer Germany.

Statistics for 2018 - the majority of foreign patients come from neighboring countries - Poland, Holland, France, etc. The most popular medical facilities among tourists are the University Clinics (Cologne, Essen, Charite, etc.), as well as municipal hospitals such as Vivantes and the City Clinic of Solingen. The most popular regions are Cologne-Bonn-Düsseldorf, Berlin and Munich. Medical specialties - a full range of diagnostic/therapeutic procedures performed for German patients. Popular areas are orthopedics, internal medicine, cardiology and surgery. Looking at patients by country, this is changing. Oncology treatment prevails among tourists from the countries of the former USSR. In the Gulf countries, due to poor nutrition and lack of a culture of physical activity, there is a high demand for methods of treating metabolic, cardiovascular diseases, diseases of the musculoskeletal system and eyes.

Treatment in Germany without intermediaries

Most people rightly want to cut costs - really, why overpay someone else's uncle, when diagnostics and therapy can be organized independently by contacting the international department of a German clinic directly. The main thing is that everything is logical, the accommodation is Booking. om, we send the documents to the employees of the corresponding administrative unit of the medical institution and, having received a preliminary program of medical procedures, we arrive in Germany. We move by taxi. We save money needed during the crisis period of the country's economy.

Reality - International departments of German hospitals have a limited number of employees working from 09:00 to 17:00, with lunch breaks. There are not many Russian-speaking clerks (there are also Polish-, Turkish-, Arabic- and French-speaking representatives of clinics), respectively, we have to wait for a response for a long time, reminding us of our existence every few days. Sometimes they react quickly - a formulaic estimate, compiled in a hurry, may turn out to be both underestimated (shorten the medical history shown to the doctor for speed), and too high - with the presence of unnecessary expensive procedures. Schengen visa - in its absence, the patient will be offered to transfer money to the details of the medical institution for a call from the clinic. It's too much. A visa can be made in one day at a travel agency, at an average cost of 40 thousand rubles. The appointment of procedures will be carried out according to the schedule of free time in the hospital department, between local patients and other foreigners, as well as the ability to provide an interpreter with an international department - the intervals may take several days, additional costs for staying in a foreign country, respectively.

Self-booking of accommodation makes sense - the patient chooses a hotel/apartment based on his needs and capabilities. Independent movement - there is no sense in money, in most cases. Taxis in Germany are expensive, seeing a tourist the driver will not take the shortest route. Transfer/accommodation services ordered through the international department of the clinic are not cheap - employees of a medical institution turn to realtors and travel companies that do not lose their margins.


Medical tourism coordinators, considered an unnecessary link in the chain of organizing treatment abroad, can not only save the patient's time and money, but also lead him to the optimal cure/survival rate for the specialist. Let's go through the points:

The history of medical tourism is deeply rooted in the past. Today, as in those days, tourist trips for the purpose of treatment remain one of the examples of combining business with pleasure.

On the one hand, medical tourism is a holiday in a foreign resort, enjoying the local beauty, acquaintance with the traditions and sights of the country. On the other hand, it is also a huge benefit to your health.

Many countries have their own distinctive features in natural opportunities, methods of treatment and approach to rehabilitation. For example, Israel is famous for the healing powers of the Dead Sea and local mud, Germany is characterized by a strict and thoughtful approach to patients, and some other European resorts offer tourists treatment at excellent mineral and thermal springs.

As a rule, the authorities of each state at the local level actively support this direction. It not only popularizes the country, but also provides an additional inflow of funds and foreign currency to the budget. Therefore, we can safely say that medical tourism in 2019 continues to actively develop and improve.

The only difficulty or peculiarity, as before, and to this day is the language barrier. Since medical translations are extremely complex and specific, not every linguist is ready to take on it. At the same time, for patients, such a service is sometimes vital.

Despite the fact that tourists visit a lot of countries for the purpose of health improvement, most often they order a medical translation into English, since it is still a more universal and widespread language. Transliteration is mainly applied to various certificates, extracts, results of analyzes and research, and other similar documentation.

As we mentioned earlier, health tourism is developed in different countries and different directions. Let's consider the distinctive features of each of them.

Medical Health Tourism in Germany

This country is one of the three leaders among European countries in terms of the demand for medical services from foreigners. Sufficient funds are used to equip local clinics and sanatoriums, as well as to research methods to combat various serious diseases, such as oncology and HIV infection.

Examinations, treatment and rehabilitation are carried out in German clinics according to international standards. That ensures the maximum quality of the services provided. Only proven and reliable drugs and methods of medical care are used.

The profile areas of many medical institutions in this country are:

  • cancer treatment,
  • cardiac surgery,
  • neurosurgery,
  • orthopedics.

Some visiting patients note that they expected a slightly increased attention to their person, since they are foreigners. However, in local clinics, everyone is equal. Doctors and medical staff do not distinguish Germans and foreigners among patients.

In previous articles, our specialists have highlighted the main reasons why foreign patients are forced to seek treatment abroad.

Today, Mediglobus experts have prepared an overview of the features of medical tourism in the most popular destinations. We will tell you about what services and medical services are available in different countries, compare the pricing policy and discuss everything that the patient needs to pay attention to.

Medical tourism in Israel

Israel is one of the most popular medical tourism destinations for patients from abroad. Israeli medicine is considered one of the most successful in the world. The latest technologies in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases are available here. Most of Israel's medical centers are state-owned, only a few clinics are private.

Every year Israel receives a large number of foreign patients, 70% of whom are cancer patients. Israeli clinics are also popular among patients with cardiac surgery, oncohematological, orthopedic and neurosurgical profiles.

For citizens of many countries, there is a visa-free regime or an accelerated visa process, which greatly simplifies the possibility of a visit for treatment. Despite the simplicity of the visa regime, Israel Customs is one of the most difficult, with one of the highest denied entry rates.

There are a large number of hospitals here, but in Israel, the patient often needs to use the services of intermediaries - the international departments of clinics are not able to quickly and efficiently process all incoming requests for treatment. A qualified mediator takes care of absolutely all issues related to the organization of treatment and the patient's visit, provides logistic services to the patient and his family members, guarantees the shortest possible response time of the hospital and an appointment for diagnosis or treatment.

Price level in Israel

The pricing policy of Israel is in a rather expensive segment, the more complicated the treatment and the more famous the doctor, the higher the cost of treatment and the specialist's fee.

In terms of prices for medical services, Israel competes with some medical institutions in Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and the United States.

Medical tourism is movement abroad or within the country in order to obtain medical services. Usually the reason for this type of "tourism" is the insufficient quality of medicine or the lack of any technologies or medicines in the patient's country or city of residence, too long waiting lists for treatment, or too high a cost. Medical tourism today is an international trend that is actively gaining momentum. The countries receiving the largest number of foreign patients are the USA, Germany, Switzerland, Israel, India, Thailand and Singapore.

Germany is the most popular destination for patients from the EU and the CIS. It is German clinics that offer the best value for money, and the geographical location of Germany in the center of Europe allows you to combine rest and treatment. According to a study by the Bonn-Rhine-Sieg Institute, in 2014 more than 251,000 international patients from 176 countries came to Germany for treatment, which meant an increase of 4.4%. At the same time, it was Russian patients who made up the majority: about 9,800 patients from Russia were treated in Germany in a hospital and about 15,000 - on an outpatient basis.

The most popular among foreigners are traditionally:

  • Bavaria,
  • North Rhine-Westphalia,
  • Baden-Württemberg.

In recent years, they have been joined by Berlin and Brandenburg, which actively attract patients from abroad.

This extreme popularity is due to the following factors:

  • High quality medical services;
  • International experience of specialist doctors;
  • Strict hygiene standards;
  • Active development and implementation into practice of new technologies and methods, especially minimally invasive ones;
  • Modern equipment and high-quality medicines;
  • High level of training of middle and junior medical personnel;
  • The tendency to an individual approach in the treatment of each patient;
  • The friendliness of the staff and a wide range of additional services.

Medical tourism: treatment options in Germany

Unisa offers patients wishing to undergo diagnostics, treatment or preventive medical examinations in Germany to choose from several clinics, both university and private. Both options have their advantages.

Having received your application, the specialists of the Yunisa company will select several medical institutions that are optimal for your case, with a description of the features of treatment in each of them, and you will be able to choose the option that you like the most.

Health tourism is one of the areas of medical tourism. Health tourism is understood as spa treatment, wellness, fitness, SPA programs and other activities aimed at health improvement, disease prevention, as well as all types of cosmetology. Most popular health tourism treatments:

  • Various types of massage;
  • Physiotherapy;
  • Water treatments;
  • Balneotherapy;
  • Climatotherapy.

Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France are considered traditional destinations for health tourism in Europe.

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