Medical Tourism to Germany

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Many consider the German health care system as one of the best in Europe and around the world. German hospitals have been a primary health travel destination in Europe for hundreds of years and continue to lead the industry today.

Patients from Eastern European countries such as Russia, Romania and Bulgaria, who have the resources to pay for high quality medical services, usually seek medical care abroad and Germany is a primary choice.

Medical travelers from Great Britain and the United States are attracted to Germany's hospitals mainly because of the high level of medical care and technical advances offered by the German healthcare system. Coming to Germany as a medical tourist also enables the Western medical travelers to reduce the waiting times which are common in the United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland.

Patients from the Gulf and Arab nations come to Germany to avail themselves of the expertise and reputation of the German doctors.

The Healthcare System in Germany

As legislated by German law, German hospitals are required to undergo quality surveillance programs under government supervision. This includes certifications and accreditations with the German Institute for Standardization (DIN or Deutsches Institut fr Normung ), the Telemedicine for the Mobile Society (TEMOS), and the Cooperation for Quality and Transparency in Healthcare (KTQ-GmBH).

Germany has an average of 368 physicians per 100,000 inhabitants according to the World Health Organization, which is higher than the averages for both the USA and Canada.

Physicians undergo a strict and rigorous training before they can practice in their specialization. Medical students undergo a two-part university training : a preliminary basic scientific study and a hands-on clinical study. After completing their university studies and passing the medical board, the physician would then be required to undergo specialization training for 5 to 7 years depending on the area of expertise, after which they need to pass another examination in order to start practicing.

Leading Hospitals for Medical Tourism in Germany

  • Heidelberg University Hospital - Heidelberg
    Heidelberg University Hospital is one of Europe's leading medical centers, which attracts patients from all over Germany as well as many other countries.
  • University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) - Hamburg
    Established in 1884, UKE hospital underwent full modernization in 2009 and emerged as one of the most innovative hospitals in Europe.
  • Klinikum Stuttgart - Stuttgart
    One of Germany's largest hospitals, made up of more than 50 clinics and specialty centers spanning all medical specialties. Kinikum Stuttgart is regarded as one of the best hospitals in Germany, and is a referral center for oncology, pediatrics, ENT and other medical specialties.
  • Browse our list of hospitals in Germany .

Common Treatments Done by Medical Tourists in Germany

Hospitals and healthcare facilities in Germany offer practically all medical procedures for medical travelers, usually at very high standards.

Malpractice and Liability Laws in Germany

The concepts of medical malpractice laws in Germany are similar to what is practiced in the United States, and are based on Germany's Civil Code provisions on liabilities derived from contracts and the tort system. Medical liability is defined as including defective treatment, erroneous diagnosis and medications, failure to provide disclosure and treatment using unauthorized means or personnel. Damages are entirely compensatory and not punitive and are based on Civil Code provisions that attribute the actual losses suffered by the patient, including loss of earnings and damages for pain and suffering.

Pros

  • Top notch medical facilities

    German hospitals follow the highest international standards and are up-to-date with the latest medical equipment and technologies
  • Highly qualified physicians

    Medical professionals undergo a strict and rigorous training process before they can practice their profession
  • Availablity of complicated medical procedures

    Medical treatments that are not available in the less developed countries can be obtained in Germany.
  • Safe environment

    Safety is not an issue in Germany, due to its highly stabilized society, low crime rate, and no political unrest

Cons

  • Costs

    The cost of medical procedures is much higher than other medical tourism destinations such as in Asia and Eastern Europe
  • Privacy issues

    Germans are not overly concerned so much about privacy as are the Americans or the British. Some hospitals do not issue gowns or towels during examinations. Patients are expected to bring their own in most cases.

Traveling to Germany

Average estimated flight time in hours

From/To Germany
Moscow 3
London 1
Ukraine 2
Romania 2
Bulgaria 2
Dubai 6
Oman 7
Kuwait 5
Riyadh 6
New York 8
Los Angeles 12

Entry and Exit Requirements to Germany

Here is a list of countries with corresponding visa requirement provisions for entry and stay in Germany.

Statistics of Medical Tourism in Germany

There were an estimated 50,000 medical tourists that sought medical care in Germany in 2001 and these figures are probably significantly higher by now. Among these medical tourists are more than 10,000 patients, coming from the Middle East and Arab countries, accompanied by their friends and families.
Hospitals in Germany