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International Medical Services & Business Development
Official Site of the Medical Center – University of Freiburg

Frequently Asked Questions

No. International Medical Services and Business Development (IMS) is part of a public institution; it is a department of the Medical Center - University of Freiburg and not a private company. All members of the IMS staff are employees of the hospital. They get a fixed salary independent of the number of patients under their care and no commission.

As a public institution, the IMS department is financed by the Medical Center - University of Freiburg.

IMS handles all organizational tasks for patients coming from abroad for treatment in Germany: visa invitation letter, cost estimate, coordination of appointments, airport transfer, accommodation, as well as care of patients and their families, cost control during treatment, sending out medical reports, providing your final invoice. We are there to make your stay as pleasant as possible.

IMS interpreters are specifically qualified and trained freelancers. They are paid out of the deposit made to IMS on the basis of the timesheet signed by the patient. Waiting time also has to be paid. IMS interpreters do not make appointments and do not provide information as to costs.

Before travelling to Freiburg, you will receive a detailed cost estimate which includes the statutory costs for treatment, doctors’ fees, as well as costs for laboratory tests and diagnostic radiology. The cost estimate always contains a clause that any payment in excess will be paid back to you.

The receipt of the money is a condition for IMS to write the visa invitation letter, but also for the respective embassies to issue the visa. The expected duration of treatment determines the validity of the visa.

The hospital is responsible for ensuring that patients enter the country only for treatment and promptly leave the country once they have completed their treatment.

Patients coming to Germany from abroad for medical treatment are obliged to pay the treatment costs in advance as a deposit.

After about 8 weeks, you will get a detailed final invoice listing all items. Any remaining balance will be paid back to you via bank transfer or to your credit card. If there is a outstanding balance, we will ask you to pay it without delay.

After you have left, your file has to go through all the departments involved in your treatment before being sent to the accounting department where your invoice will be issued. This is often done by mail, due to various accountancy offices used by professors and those being located all over Germany. Therefore it can take up to 8 weeks until we can provide you with your final invoice. We kindly ask you for your understanding should that be the case.

With regard to medical reports, we try to obtain them as soon as possible. It may happen, however, that the doctor cannot dictate and sign them immediately, e.g. because he is out of office.

The Medical Center - University of Freiburg is a maximum care hospital covering the southwestern region of Germany. In addition to their nomal duties, our doctors have to deal with unexpected emergency patients which can occasionally lead to longer waiting times. We assure you that we are doing our best to keep your waiting times as short as possible.

No. In Germany, medical treatment and all medical services except plastic surgery are exempt from value-added tax. However, you can get back the value-added tax paid on medication or medical supplies you buy from pharmacies and medical supply stores. Please contact your patient manager for further details.