Be it telemedicine, patient tourism or international chains of hospitals, the healthcare market, which is accelerating over national borders, and is even more global. ‘Medicine without Borders’ will be among subjects to be discussed at the TopClinica Congress Medicine needs a Future, writes congress manager
Dr Erentraud Hömberg.
When the German Federal Chancellor made a surprise trip to Afghanistan in February she could not visit the troops in Faizabad because clouds over the mountains made flight too dangerous. ‘It’s not unusual in this area,’ explained Dr Dietrich Doll who, as a former Lieutenant Colonel in the German medical corps, was stationed there for some time. At the congress he will lecture on telemedicine in crisis areas. ‘If one of our soldiers is taken ill or wounded in Faizabad during such bad weather, and the medical care available on site is not sufficient, that’s when telemedicine comes in. The large German hospital in Mazar-i-Sharif has enough specialists who can assess X-rays or laboratory results via satellite link. When this is not enough, the data are sent to Germany.’ Dr Ulrich Fell, Head of Marketing at GE Healthcare, will report on the setting up of an international network of cancer centres. ‘To be able to offer the most modern tumour treatment to more patients, and quicker, with the University of Pittsburgh in the USA, we are planning to set-up at least 25 cancer centres in Europe and the Middle East.’
Dr Claus Biermann, of Philips Germany, who will speak on a developing market at the TopClinica, pointed out that emerging economies that are in the process of developing their healthcare systems particularly offer numerous opportunities for medical technology companies.
The chances of a German University Hospital entering the global market will be discussed by Dr Mathias Goyen, Managing Director of UKE Consult and Management GmbH. As a Hamburg University Hospital spin-off, his firm has succeeded particularly in Arab countries and was involved in the building of hospitals in Dubai and Yemen. Whilst Goyen mainly works abroad, his colleague Leonore Boscher deals with the invoicing for the numerous foreign patients at the International Centre of the University Hospital in Hamburg. Her lecture will focus on ‘What and how Arabs, Russians & co. pay?’
Dr Joachim Drevs, Head of the Tumour Clinic SanFontis in Freiburg, which mainly treats international patients; he will describe the frustrations of national regulations that hit the limits of globalisation.
Claus Moldenhauer, of the DAK in Hamburg, will discuss financial obstacles within the European healthcare cross-border traffic.
Dr Uwe Klein from Munich, a specialist in marketing for foreign patients, will focus on the race to attract foreign patients, pointing out the lead taken by Thailand, India and Singapore.