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Patient Managers at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg – who are they?


During your stay for diagnostics or treatment at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg, your Personal Patient Manager will be your contact person for all administrative and organizational issues. Let us introduce the team and their work in their own words.

1. Aleksandra, when does the service of coordinating the patient's trip to Freiburg begin and when does it end?

For a Personal Manager, the service of trip coordination begins before the patient arrives at the clinic, i.e. when we receive the individual patient's program and the preliminary invoice prepared by the Inquiry Team of the International Medical Services Department (IMS).

The Personal Manager makes changes to the patient's program, taking into account additional services and the patient's wishes, such as: organizing interpreter services, hotel or apartment reservation, airport transfer in a comfortable car, or - in case of emergency medical intervention - in a specially equipped air ambulance.

The service also includes registration at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg, arranging additional appointments with doctors, coordinating the entire process of examination/ treatment, organizing of prescriptions and medications, monitoring of expenses, visa extension.

The patient travel coordination service does not end with the patient's departure. It’s only when the patient receives the final medical reports (upon request translated into a language of the patient’s choice), all remaining questions are answered, and the patient receives a final invoice from the manager for all medical services and additional expenses, that the work can be considered complete.

2. Dzmitry, when patients come as a family for examination and treatment, does each member of the family have a Personal Manager? What is the average time a patient stays in Freiburg, e.g. for a check-up program?

When patients come as a family, they usually have one Manager who takes care of them all. This is convenient for organizing appointments with doctors at the clinic (if something needs to be changed/ added), coordinating the work of translators, drivers and, of course, finalizing the bill. However, there are situations where, for example, there are three members of a family, each of whom has his or her own Personal Manager. This usually happens when the request to the clinic was not made by one member of the family for all of them, but each person filled out an individual request form and did not initially mention the others. If the family members have different surnames, it is not always clear at the stage of processing the application that they are patients from the same family. In this case, a different Personal Manager is assigned to each of the patients.

It is difficult to estimate the average length of stay at the clinic. Each patient has their own program, their own diagnoses, and it all depends on personal issues. It is possible to have three examinations in one day, and sometimes it takes a week to have an extended examination. It’s hardly possible to give an average indication of treatment duration for in-patient cases. If we talk only about out-patient examinations, we can probably look at an average stay of 3 days. But as I said, this is a very rough number. Everything depends on the diagnoses, on the patient's wishes regarding the program, and on specific examinations.

3. Johann, the size of the the Medical Center - University of Freiburg is amazing. Is it possible to get lost here in such a huge area?

As employees of the hospital, we of course know the location of all the departments and buildings. However, it is very easy for a person who is not familiar with the hospital and does not know the algorithm of the departments to get confused or lost. Therefore, the patient is accompanied by either an interpreter or a personal assistant to ensure that he or she feels comfortable in the clinic area.

4. Sviatlana, is there anything you definitely recommend to visit/ do/ try in Freiburg?

In Freiburg, we recommend visiting our cathedral, one of the most beautiful Catholic churches in Europe. While there, it’s nice strolling through the farmers' market and tasting the famous Freiburg sausage, drinking beer at the private Feierling brewery, and admiring the city from the viewing platform of the Schloßberg. Patients with children are welcome to visit Europa-Park, Europe's largest theme park, located near Freiburg.

5. Alexander, there is a lot of trust in the quality of German medicine and in the diagnoses of German doctors. Are there cases where a patient comes with one diagnosis and leaves with another?

Yes, there are such cases. It happens because of the poor quality of radiological equipment (CT, MRI) in the countries of the former USSR. Also, we have often encountered cases where doctors from the former USSR countries misinterpreted radiological data.

6. Timur, if a patient needs to continue medication treatment at home, but the prescribed medications are not available in their country - can you help organize the delivery of the necessary medicine?

If a patient needs medication to continue the treatment started in our clinic that they cannot buy at home, we ask the attending physician at the Medical Center to write a prescription for the needed medicine. We then order the medication from pharmacies in Freiburg and, upon receiving it from the pharmacy, send it by UPS courier service to the address provided by the patient. Please note that not all countries allow importation of medicines. Therefore, the patient should first check at home if the medication can be imported into their country. Once the medication has been shipped, we will issue an invoice that includes the fee for the prescription from the clinic, the invoice for the medication from the pharmacy, the invoice for the courier service, and the clinic's administration fee. Before ordering any medication, the patient must make sure that they have enough money on deposit at the clinic to pay for the order and delivery of the medicine.

7. Elena, how long have you been working at the International Medical Services? What was the most unusual request from a patient?

I've been working at IMS since 2014, and perhaps the most unexpected request so far was a patient's request to arrange for a professor from the Eye Center to fly to the patient's country and city so that the professor could give him an injection. The thing is that the patient wanted to be treated only by this doctor, but he could not fly himself to the clinic for the procedures at the right time. So he was willing to pay all the expenses just to organize such a trip for the professor.

8. Sviatlana, do you notice a difference in the emotional state of a patient who comes to the Medical Center - University of Freiburg, especially for the first time, and a patient who goes home?

There is definitely a difference. When patients come to us for the first time, they don't know what to expect in the clinic, they wonder about the attitude of the doctors, the staff, and so on. They worry if they're going to be diagnosed correctly, if they're going to be treated correctly, if they're going to be able to understand the doctors. We try to do our best to make patients feel comfortable and confident. When the examinations and treatments go according to plan and the patients get answers to all their questions about their health, they leave us in a good mood, confident that they will get the help and support they need in the future.

9. Maria, can you mention any cultural peculiarities of patients coming from different countries?

Of course. Patients from post-Soviet countries, for example, often know much more about their diseases than patients from other parts of the world. Trust in the doctor is very important for this group of patients, they ask a lot of questions and like "exceptions to the rules". They also often take too much medication. Because of the language barrier, the work of a qualified interpreter is very important.

For Arabic patients, on the other hand, family involvement in the treatment process is very important. The physicians have to be sensitive to the religious specifics and speak to this group of patients using as little medical terminology as possible.

In fact, with 20 years of experience, our team could write a book on this subject.

For inquiries and more information please contact us at

+49 761 270 21310 / info-international@uniklinik-freiburg.de