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Arabs Avoid U.S. for Medical Care, Look to Germany
Yahoo ^ | 28 jul 03 | Erik Kirschbaum

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."


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Germany; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: arabs; germany; johnshopkins; mayoclinic; medicalcare
The wealthy Arabs' first choice is to get medical care in the US. They go to Europe as a second choice. If the shoe starts to pinch enough, they will start to take meaningful steps against islamic terrorism.
1 posted on 07/28/2003 8:44:41 AM PDT by white trash redneck
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To: white trash redneck
Don't they have any hospitals in Arabia? Or just barbers, bloodletters, and voodoo witch doctors?
2 posted on 07/28/2003 8:47:10 AM PDT by Alouette (Every politician should live next door to a pimp, so he can have someone to look up to.)
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To: white trash redneck
Good, as long as they don't come here I don't give a crap where they go.
3 posted on 07/28/2003 8:47:43 AM PDT by Bikers4Bush
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To: white trash redneck
I think they are afraid of becoming a terrorist target if they come to the US. This is a surrender to terrorism, not a precursor to the arabs fighting it.
4 posted on 07/28/2003 8:49:15 AM PDT by staytrue
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To: Alouette
Don't they have any hospitals in Arabia?

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).

5 posted on 07/28/2003 8:51:12 AM PDT by CFC__VRWC (Hippies. They want to save the earth, but all they do is smoke dope and smell bad.)
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To: white trash redneck
And we have a problem with this because..?
6 posted on 07/28/2003 8:54:20 AM PDT by Republican Red
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To: white trash redneck
You know, the Germans, a long time ago, began to violate the dietary concerns of semetic peoples. Their purpose, at least initially, was to degrade Jews by feeding them pork and pork products.

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.

Just wondering.

7 posted on 07/28/2003 8:57:57 AM PDT by Tacis
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To: Republican Red
And we have a problem with this because..?

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.

8 posted on 07/28/2003 8:58:13 AM PDT by white trash redneck
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To: Tacis
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 can't speak about Islamic law, but use of porcine valves is kosher (so to speak) under Jewish law.

9 posted on 07/28/2003 9:02:49 AM PDT by white trash redneck
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To: white trash redneck
I'm sure the Liberals will cry a river over this whole thing.

Not that I give a s---, mind you...

-Jay
10 posted on 07/28/2003 9:04:33 AM PDT by Jay D. Dyson (Leftists are like any other lower life form...they devour their own when it suits their purpose.)
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To: white trash redneck
Welcomen der Mengele Klinic
11 posted on 07/28/2003 9:06:29 AM PDT by Lexington Green
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To: white trash redneck
Hospitals like Mayo and MD Anderson have a problem since foreign nationals like these Arabs are paying cash customers,

Well said. Also, I'd throw the excellent Cleveland Clinic, which the Saudis poured a ton of money into, into this mix as well.

Besides the "cash payer" angle, when the really big wigs roll in they often take numerous rooms, sometimes whole wings or even whole floors for extended family, friends and servants....that's a mighty big cha-ching to lose.
12 posted on 07/28/2003 9:07:44 AM PDT by mr.pink
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To: Tacis
Muslims have become the most hated semetic group

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."

13 posted on 07/28/2003 9:08:03 AM PDT by Alouette (Every politician should live next door to a pimp, so he can have someone to look up to.)
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To: white trash redneck
Don't they have any hospitals in Arabia?

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?

14 posted on 07/28/2003 9:10:57 AM PDT by mbynack
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To: white trash redneck
This should not surprise anyone...the germans have been taking care and shletering arabs and/or terrorists for 30 years now!
15 posted on 07/28/2003 9:11:50 AM PDT by God luvs America
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To: white trash redneck
Now tell us the bad news.
16 posted on 07/28/2003 9:14:17 AM PDT by Militiaman7 (Congress steals my pension because I'm a Retired Disabled Vet. http://www.SupporttheVets.com)
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To: white trash redneck
but 9/11 and the paranoia in America

sheesh, stay away you arrogant arabs. 3000 people killed in one day should justify the "inconvenience" of having your baggage searched.

17 posted on 07/28/2003 9:15:31 AM PDT by mombonn (Have you prayed for our President yet today?)
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To: mr.pink
when the really big wigs roll in they often take numerous rooms, sometimes whole wings or even whole floors for extended family, friends and servants....that's a mighty big cha-ching to lose.

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.

18 posted on 07/28/2003 9:15:41 AM PDT by white trash redneck
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To: white trash redneck
Thank God for small favors.
19 posted on 07/28/2003 9:17:39 AM PDT by Publius6961 (Californians are as dumm as a sack of rocks)
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To: Tacis
Germans eat a lot of pork because it is much cheaper to raise pigs on heath than it is to raise cattle.

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.

20 posted on 07/28/2003 9:19:32 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: white trash redneck
And they can be a big pain in the neck.

Yup, I've heard the stories such as yours and know them to be true.

But...wealthy/powerful people of all stripes can be the most arrogant pompous "the rules don't apply to me" asses in the world.
21 posted on 07/28/2003 9:25:52 AM PDT by mr.pink
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To: white trash redneck
Arabs Avoid U.S. for Medical Care, Look to Germany

Good. Hopefully, they will avoid the US for everything, including murder of innocent civilians, terrorism, religious bigotry and their goal of world domination.


22 posted on 07/28/2003 9:32:47 AM PDT by spodefly (This is my tagline. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: white trash redneck
"There is a multitude of reasons, but 9/11 and the paranoia in America about security certainly has a lot to do with it."

Just because we're paranoid doesn't mean somebody isn't after us.

23 posted on 07/28/2003 9:40:06 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Bikers4Bush
Good, as long as they don't come here I don't give a crap where they go.

Deserves repeating!
24 posted on 07/28/2003 9:44:32 AM PDT by Roughneck (Starve the Beast!)
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To: white trash redneck
Theres no love lost. My wife works at MD Anderson and can't stand patients from the Middle East. They expect RNs, CNSs, and Nurse Practitioners to go downstairs and fetch them coffee.
25 posted on 07/28/2003 10:10:10 AM PDT by budanski
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Good. Arbeit mach Frei!
26 posted on 07/28/2003 10:11:16 AM PDT by forktail
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To: budanski
germans deserve the arabs!
27 posted on 07/28/2003 10:13:16 AM PDT by rrrod
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