Skip to comments.Arabs Avoid U.S. for Medical Care, Look to Germany
Posted on 07/28/2003 8:44:41 AM PDT by white trash redneck
When a wealthy Arab patient flew to Germany for medical treatment last year he arrived on his own jumbo jet filled with so many bodyguards, staff and family that he rented an entire luxury hotel floor for his month-long stay.
The man from Qatar was among the richest but hardly the only foreigner to get health care in Germany to avoid the rigors of entering the United States, where anti-terror vigilance since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks has frightened many Arabs away.
German hospitals are reporting huge increases in the number of Arab patients since 2001 -- at the expense of U.S. medical centers such as the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins that they compete with in the $2 billion international patient industry.
Health care officials said Arabs patients are turning to Germany because they're fed up with hassles at U.S. airports with customs officials. They also deplore invasive interviews and what they see as degrading background checks needed to obtain U.S. visas.
"We're seeing a lot more Arab patients," said Stefan Loening, head of urology at Berlin's Charite hospital. "There is a multitude of reasons, but 9/11 and the paranoia in America about security certainly has a lot to do with it."
Loening, who worked in American hospitals for 20 years, said the level of treatment in Germany is on a par with the United States and yet the costs are often roughly one-third as high. He said the price is not the main issue for wealthy Arabs.
"They can fly in and out of Germany without any problems and don't have to worry that a nail clipper in their bag is going to raise eyebrows," Loening told Reuters. "No one is going to anger them at the airport and their privacy won't be intruded upon."
Other officials said the trend to Germany is gaining pace as Arab patients spread the word and help refute any notion of a gap in health treatment between the United States and European countries like Germany -- which was the case several decades ago.
"Germany has acquired an excellent reputation among Arabs and word is spreading fast that hospitals and doctors are first rate," said Ozan Samtimiz, medical manager at German Health, an agency that arranges treatment for Arabs. But he said the main issue for the trend to Europe was America's security obsession.
"When Arabs travel to the United States they're viewed as potential terrorists," he added. "It's very difficult, almost impossible, for them to get U.S. visas. These people may be ill and don't want delays, don't want an interrogation by customs."
GERMANS ROLL OUT RED CARPET FOR WEALTHY ARABS
German medical centers are giving Arab patients the red-carpet treatment and borrowing some of the strategies U.S. medical centers began perfecting in the 1990s to lure wealthy foreign patients to boost profits.
Berlin's five-star Adlon Hotel -- where many wealthy Arabs stay while recuperating from heart surgery, kidney transplants or cancer treatment -- also reports booming business with Arab patients. It recently entered a partnership with the Charite.
"We've seen very strong increases in demand from guests from Arab countries coming to Berlin for treatment," said Emilie Sotomayor, spokeswoman for the 336-room Adlon where suites cost up from $350 to $8,400 a night.
"It's a very important market for us," she said. One patient recently booked rooms for 100 people in his entourage.
German Health has seen its revenues triple in the last year, with 600 patients coming from Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
"We've had princes, princesses and sheikhs come to Germany in the last two years," said Samtimiz.
Although no comprehensive statistics are available, it appears medical centers in France, Italy and Spain, as well as in Egypt, are also beneficiaries of America's clampdown on Arabs.
"Many are coming here, also to Italy, Germany and Spain," said a spokesman at the Saudi Embassy in Paris. "Arabs of all different nationalities are coming to France instead of the United States. They are badly treated there at the airports.
"Most go to Germany, but some to France," he said. "Before we had 10 people a year, now I deal with at least 10 a week."
The Arabs do have something they can take pride in regarding their health care - at least they're the world's leaders in performing clitorectomies (female circumcisions).
Have they stopped doing this now that the Muslims have become the most hated semetic group? In most large German cities, there are large populations of Muslims foreigners, mostly Turks, who do the jobs that Germans won't do. The Germans hate these auslanders and bad mouth them begind their backs. Geramans are still VERY race conscious. I can't believe that the Germans don't take every opportunity to do to the Arabs what they used to do to the Jews. Even using pig valves instead of mechanical valves in heart surgery is the kind of thing they'd love and the Arabs might not appreciate.
I don't have a problem with this at all. Hospitals like Mayo and MD Anderson have a problem since foreign nationals like these Arabs are paying cash customers, which is a sweet financial deal when most US insurances pay approximately 50 cents on the dollar for charges.
I can't speak about Islamic law, but use of porcine valves is kosher (so to speak) under Jewish law.
Muslims are not hated because they are "Semites." "Anti-Semitism" is an obsolete word coined by a German Jew-hater in order to give a "scientific" veneer (racism was considered a "science during the 19th Century) to "Jew-hate."
Muslims are hated because they follow a dangerous murder cult, not because of whatever race they are. BTW the majority of Muslims in the world are not "Semites." Turks, Iranians, Indonesians, Tatars, Uzbeks, and Uighurs are NOT "Semites."
They sent all their doctors over here to practice. It makes me very uneasy that they send their doctors over here and then go to Germany for medical care. Is there a message there?
sheesh, stay away you arrogant arabs. 3000 people killed in one day should justify the "inconvenience" of having your baggage searched.
And they can be a big pain in the neck. When I was on the staff at Mass General Hospital, I was walking down the hall on my way to somewhere. One of the wealthy third world thugs whom the MGH admin loves to put up in Phillips was being taken down the hall in the opposite direction, and I got shouldered aside by one of his goons. I called the hospital admin and told them that unless I got an apology that afternoon, I was going to call a friend of mine at the Globe to do an article about, well, third world thugs getting medical care at MGH. No matter that I really didn't have a friend at the Globe. This is an issue that would be red meat for the paper, and the thugs and the admin try to keep this arrangement quiet.
I got my apology.
Pork was the poor man's beef in Germany for centuries, and it was not introduced to upset Jews.
And Turks are not a Semitic people.
Good. Hopefully, they will avoid the US for everything, including murder of innocent civilians, terrorism, religious bigotry and their goal of world domination.
Just because we're paranoid doesn't mean somebody isn't after us.