Chapel Bridge and Mount Pilatus aside, tourists from the mainland have one more reason to love Lucerne. Against a backdrop of quintessential Swiss charm and service excellence, LucerneHealth gives international visitors an ideal retreat for receiving first-rate medical care.
"Lucerne is a pleasant environment," says managing director Dr Dieter Baumgartner. "It's quiet, beautiful and very conducive to healing and getting healthy again."
Among the first to contribute to the growth of medical tourism in Switzerland, LucerneHealth is an association of hospitals, clinical laboratories, medical technology and pharmaceutical companies and six premium hotels based in Lucerne. The association aims to provide tailor-made medical treatment that is truly patient-friendly.
LucerneHealth's member-hospitals accommodate patients of all ages in their native language and culture and specialise in translating patients' medical documents. The association looks after patients from the beginning to the end of their stay, including airport pickup upon arrival to hotel booking for patients and their companions.
The association's member-health care facilities are state-of-the-art, embodying Switzerland's reputation for top medical expertise and technology. Its member-hospitals have successfully cared for patients who have undergone treatment elsewhere. LucerneHealth's key specialities in its comprehensive range of services include advanced diagnostics, spinal cord injuries, neurosurgery and interdisciplinary cancer treatment.
"One of our strengths is that treating physicians really talk to each other," Baumgartner says. "Every patient is given thorough attention between disciplines within a hospital and between hospitals."
Prevention plays a key role in staying healthy. With this in mind, LucerneHealth has designed check-ups ideal for travellers.
A growing number of the travellers availing of these programmes come from the mainland.
Individual patients may come for a daylong executive check-up with focused checks for known problems such as heart, urinary tract and women's diseases. Specially designed for groups of four travellers, half-day business check-ups take place at facilities close to the main railway. Both examinations emphasise personalised counselling.
"Patients don't just come here, go through a machine and get a written report two weeks later," Baumgartner says. "When they leave, we want them to know what they should do to get better."
To better serve patients coming from the mainland, LucerneHealth looks to ally itself with luxury travel clubs and tourism companies that would like to offer medical tourism packages. Particularly active in Beijing and Nanjing, the association works with government agencies and plans to develop its patient base from the mainland along with other overseas markets.