What does the notion of “Swiss Health” stand for? Why does it make sense to travel to Switzerland to improve your health? Which new opportunities does the Swiss health system bring you in terms of the treatment and prophylaxsis of different diseases? Markus Will, Managing Director of Swiss Health Tourism, presents his perspective on these questions.
– Mr. Will, which goals does Swiss Health Tourism pursue?
– As the association for medical and health tourism in Switzerland, Swiss Health Tourism aims to support companies and private individuals in the field of medical and health tourism. We help foreign patients find a suitable clinic and the right doctor and other specialists. Of course, we also organize all other aspects of a medical trip, such as visa procurement, accommodation, transport and interpreters. To Swiss health care institutions we offer communication and etworking opportunities with patients in their target regions abroad. Furthermore, we are also involved in charitable projects, such as the Eurasia Health Foundation.
– Why is Switzerland’s health service so popular?
– According to the WHO (World Health Organization), the Swiss healthcare system is one of the world’s most advanced,providing outstanding medical results. For decades, Switzerland has cultivated and expanded its role as a host country for medical patients. Patients – regardless of their cultural background – value Switzerland as a beautiful and hospitable country with professional infrastructure. They know that they will be looked after by the world’s best physicians. Our Swiss system provides specialists with state-of-the-art infrastructure and thus contributes to the optimal success of treatment and therapy. Highly qualified medical staff, the aforementioned state-of-the-art infrastructure, and the drive to provide the best service to patients… this is why Switzerland is so often considered the first choice.
– What trends and developments have you seen recently?
– I would like to highlight two topics here. It goes without saying that Switzerland is one of the countries with the best research centers and plays an important role in the development of new treatment methods in the medical field, but there are also very interesting developments regarding access to doctors in the internet age, such as the distance-independent second medical opinion. This is the medical reevaluation of a previously made diagnosis and of the subsequent treatment recommendations, done via the Internet. On one hand, this service helps doctors if they need the opinion of a colleague, and on the other hand it helps patients if they have questions after an initial visit to a doctor. A second opinion can be obtained during an examination from a third-party specialist in a private medical office or in a clinic/hospital. If the images from previous medical examinations and tests are of good quality and if there is a complaint from the patient, then the specialist can conduct an assessment of the situation remotely, ie online. The subsequent conversation with the doctor, with the help of network video
telephony (Skype, Viber, WhatsApp etc.), allows for an explanation of the results, and the patient can ask questions. Needless to say, the conversation is onducted with the help of a medical interpreter for the best results.
The second issue is that of rehabilitation in Switzerland. Switzerland has highly professional institutions for all aspects of rehabilitation: the coordinated use of medical, therapeutic, nursing and social measures to improve disability and functional disorders. This range of state-of-the-art knowledge is remarkable and of an international standard. In short, Swiss rehabilitation clinics offer the best chances for rapid rehabilitation. An awareness of this unique situation, combined with an increasing understanding of the role of rehabilitation in the health of every human being, is reflected in growing interest from foreign patients.
– Can you tell us more about the 2019 plans for Swiss Health Tourism?
– One of our main concerns is the promotion and positioning of the Swiss health care system abroad. As part of this, we are organizing international exchanges
between Swiss specialists and specialists in various other countries. This enables Swiss doctors to perform at various medical congresses and trade fairs, and
to give lectures that achieve great median attention. An example of this is the 11th International Symposium on Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, on November 26th and 27th, 2018, in Moscow, where we were able to introduce two Swiss specialists who gave lectures. With these kinds of platforms, we support the development and we increase the appeal of Switzerland as a professional partner when it comes to health.