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Health tourism: What is it and how does it work?

21st May 2023 Print

The healthcare system in Germany is fraught with limitations. For some treatments as well as cosmetic procedures, patients have to pay the bills themselves. In the course of reducing these costs, health tourism has seen an increase in recent years. To see how this niche of the travel industry works, see the article below.

Vacation in connection with medical treatments experience a new boom

The costs for treatments in Germany are not completely covered by the monthly health insurance contribution. Especially for treatments that are not considered a medical necessity by the health insurance companies, coverage often fails to materialize. Clinics and medical practices in other European countries have discovered a gap in the market for themselves in these regulations of the German health system.

The resulting health tourism invites patients to have treatments performed abroad. This invitation is primarily accepted by people who consider the high costs in Germany to be an obstacle to timely treatment. In conjunction with the stay, numerous providers are nevertheless able to keep the costs below the price of German treatments and procedures.

The offers were set in motion by cosmetic surgery

One of the first forms of health tourism, which has been used for several years, follows the call of beauty. Operations such as breast implants or nose corrections quickly cost a medium to high four-digit amount in Germany. In other European countries such as Hungary and Turkey, prices are sometimes half as low. The costs play in the considerations for the suitable place of the execution of the interferences likewise a not subordinate role. In recent years, the offer from abroad has also been expanded to include dental treatments. Dental prosthesis or other costly treatments do not necessarily require a long time to save or take out a loan abroad.

Some travel providers have specialized in health tourism

In the early years, patients often had to book travel arrangements separately after making appointments abroad. As demand has grown, travel providers have emerged that specialize in conducting stays for medical purposes. One of these providers is Letsmedi Doctors. This company offers the booking of complete packages at a fixed price. In addition, there is a possibility to read testimonials of other users. With the help of this information, it is easier to find the place with the highest satisfaction of other patients among several destinations. Letsmedi Doctors also allows all trips to be booked online.

On-site treatment is provided by trained medical personnel

The lower cost does not mean compromising on the quality of treatment. The medical care at the place of treatment is taken over by trained doctors as well as trained nursing staff. Within Europe, a comparable standard already applies to medical professions during training. The risk of complications or treatment errors is therefore not increased abroad. However, it is important to check in advance which contact persons are available. Some hotels have medical staff on site, while on other trips the booking companies have a contact person ready for emergencies and complications.

Accompanying persons are not only important as travel partners

Although health tourism leads to destinations such as Ankara or Budapest, it is not comparable in all aspects to a regular vacation trip. This is also true with regard to the treatments and procedures, which are sometimes associated with pain. For this reason, it is recommended to take a travel companion with you. These individuals can help alleviate nervousness and assist with patient care after medical treatments. In many travel packages, companions pay only a small extra charge, so that stays remain affordable for fellow travelers as well.