Medical tourism is becoming a major growth industry in Germany, with patients from many different parts of the world recognising the benefits of seeking treatment abroad.
The nation has an enviable health care system, with excellent patient care and affordable prices combining to make it an attractive destination.
Axel Steller, chief executive officer of the Arab German Health Foundation, told the DW-World.de website that 50,000 foreign patients went to Germany for medical treatment in 2001, a figure which has undoubtedly risen since then.
At first glance, costs of private treatment in Germany might seem uncompetitive when compared to the UK, with only small savings on offer in comparison with other European destinations.
However, those seeking treatment abroad are advised to look at the overall cost of the visit, as accommodation, food and drink while in Germany are likely to be significantly cheaper than elsewhere.
Many patients therefore choose to make the short, inexpensive journey to Germany with their families in order to make the most of the sightseeing and shopping in addition to taking advantage of the medical services on offer and avoiding long NHS waiting lists.
What's better? Private or NHS healthcare?