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Fundacja Proturmed

A practical manual for managing medical tourism for the German market.

A practical manual for medical tourism management - that is, about the book "Praxisbuch Medizintourismus: Grundlagen, Potenziale, Umsetzung" published by MVW, Berlin in 2022 and edited by Mariam Asefi

A practical handbook on medical tourism was published on the German market late last year. Foundation Board Chairwoman Dr. Anna Bialk-Wolf is the author and co-author of several articles in it.

The idea of the book from the very beginning of work on it was to have a practical dimension. It is based on German conditions and treats medical tourism exclusively as an element of international tourism. It is divided into two main parts: basics and practical knowledge. Consideration of medical tourism began with a presentation of the main assumptions of the health care system, which is the starting point for creating opportunities for medical care for foreign patients. Data on the German market and showing this phenomenon in comparison with other countries of the world constitute another part of the handbook. To some extent, this part was based on earlier texts by Jens Juszczak[1], to which the entire publication is dedicated. It has been supplemented with up-to-date data, factors influencing the development of the phenomenon and maps showing the flow of medical tourists with a particular focus on Germany.

In view of the treatment of the phenomenon of medical tourism in an international dimension, the emphasis has been placed on this intercultural aspects of visitor service and the characteristics of foreign markets from which foreign patients come. Poland occupies a special place here, as, on the one hand, it is an important target market for German patients, and on the other hand, official data indicate, patients from Poland are the largest group of foreigners in German hospitals. This has many reasons, and not all of them are related to the phenomenon of medical tourism. The first part of the book also covers the legal, political, ethical and those related to data protection.

The second part of the book deals with the practical aspects of the operation of the various stakeholders in medical tourism (including medical transportation and interpreters) and the various tasks involved in the efficient service of patients. An important element here is the structure and management of foreign patient service offices, cost accounting, and the service process. A new phenomenon that has become an integral part of building medical tourism products, which is telemedicine, was also characterized by showing the potential, challenges and practical examples of its application. Medical issues related to infections, the role of certificates in quality management are the other practical chapters in this section.

An important part of the handbook are the excursions on selected elements of the medical tourism phenomenon, written by various authors closely related to the topic. For example, we can learn from them how the city of Berlin, Cologne or Düsseldorf support the development of this segment of tourism, or how the Münster Clinic dealt with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Polish acceptances in the book are numerous. Our country is described as an example of a medical tourism destination mainly based on practical examples. References to the Polish experience can also be found in the chapter on telemedicine.

The book can be purchased through the publisher's website:!/title/praxisbuch-medizintourismus/id/875

Mariam Asefi (red.) Praxisbuch Medizintourismus: Grundlagen, Potenziale, Umsetzung, MVW, Berlin 2022

[1] Jens Juszczak (1970-2020) - leading German expert on medical tourism, originator of the manual.