Oder-Partnership: Medical Tourism Network

The promotion of Berlin as a medical destination has been carried out by visitBerlin since 2010, and various medical tourism measures have already been implemented in the Polish market since 2020.

In our neighboring country, Poland, a certain two-way dynamic can be observed with regard to medical tourism: In various clinic networks and with the help of print and online marketing, there are now regions that proactively recruit patients from abroad. It is mainly private clinics that are active in this segment. The health resorts of West Pomerania and Lower Silesia have been a magnet for German and international guests since the 19th century. At the same time, an increasing number of Polish patients are traveling to Germany or Berlin for medical treatment. The Polish-language version of www.berlin-health-excellence.com, which is implemented by visitBerlin since 2021, is seeing an increasing number of Polish-speaking visitors, who currently account for around 11% of total visitors. A study by the IBIRTM research institute sees potential especially among the high-income Polish upper class and for treatments with long waiting times.

Aim of the project

The project aims to establish a network of medical and tourism service providers as part of the Oder partnership in order to make the existing offer on the German side more attractive for Polish patients, on the Polish side for German patients and (in the further course of the project) the Oder region as a destination for Gulf Arab patients. The most important measures of the project include partner visits and the provision of initial medical tourism information, a four-language landing page, various social media measures and the presentation of the Oder region’s medical tourism offer at trade fairs relevant to the target group. The project measure runs from 01.09.2023 to 31.08.2024. An additional project year is planned to include the international focus.

The aim is to strengthen cooperation between medical tourism service providers (e.g. clinics, spas) with a focus on international patients in the Oder region. By establishing a cross-border health tourism network, the aim is to facilitate the exchange of experience and identify country-specific, complementary skills. Cooperation partners are the respective German and Polish state and/or municipal and local marketing organizations, which in turn take on board the medical tourism players from the healthcare and hotel sectors.

Kick-Off event

On February 1 and 2, 2024, the official kick-off event for the project “‘Oder-Partnership: Medical Tourism Network” will take place in Berlin, where the partner institutions will introduce themselves and get to know each other. The event is still in the planning stage, but you are welcome to express your interest in participating now.

Professional and country-specific expertise

A Polish and a German institute – the PROTURMED Foundation from Gdańsk and the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences – were commissioned in an official procedure to implement the planned measures and provide scientific project support.

Dr. Anna Białk-Wolf is project manager for PROTURMED and Mariam Asafi for Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences. Michaela Kehrer and project assistant Agnieszka Zawadzka are responsible for the project management on the part of visitBerlin.