In 2020, about 65,000 foreigners from 177 different countries arrived to Germany for medical care, most of them — they are citizens of Poland, the Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
According to German media, over the past few years, the flow of foreign clients has significantly decreased, and fewer Russian citizens are visiting Germany for medical services. In 2020, the number of patients from Russia decreased by more than 30 percent. On the other hand, there was some growth in the Arab countries and the EU markets.
In addition, in 2020, more than 1,000 foreign patients were treated at the University Hospital Freiburg, and in 2021 this number decreased to 800, and most of them came from Ukraine and Russia.
Several German hospitals have witnessed a drop in medical tourism long before COVID-19 hit the world. A spokesman for the Düsseldorf University Hospital said his clinic stopped targeting foreign patients a few years ago because “the income generated no longer matters to the hospital.”
A similar trend was seen in the Vivantes hospital group in Berlin. She closed her international department long ago, focused on receiving foreign patients. Reason — a drop in demand that rendered the unit financially unviable.
Fewer than 1,000 non-Europeans were treated there in 2020, compared to an average of 1,200 per year from 2016 to 2019. The prospects for recovery are still vague.
In 2019, the global medical tourism market reached a record 105 billion euros, in 2020 this figure has increased even more — up to 180 billion euros. Citizens of the United Kingdom and the United States were more likely to receive treatment abroad.
However, during the pandemic, interest in medical tourism has noticeably decreased. In 2021, the medical tourism market was estimated at 82 billion euros, but in this, 2022, it will grow to no more than 97 billion.
Nevertheless, experts’ forecasts are positive: it is expected that in the coming years — 2023, 2024 and 2025 — The medical tourism market will increase dramatically, reaching 120 billion euros in the first year. More than 27 million people will seek such treatment.