Sonntag, 8. Dezember 2013

Medical history in Germany: DRK Westend Clinic

One month ago, I did not have any idea about the existence of DRK Westend Clinic, but life is a big box with various surprises so I ended up more than knowing it exists. Nowadays a hospital of the German Red Cross, its creation started at the beginning of the last century, around 1900. Since then, the hospital extended with various specialities and over 1,350 beds. 
What impressed me from the first time when I set foot here, was the serious red-bricked buildings, organized around big green areas with big pieces of art sprawled in different corners. A small art workshop is situated in the basement of one of the new buildings. Aware of its important history, big billboards with explanations in German and old pictures are placed near each section. During the two world wars, it was used as part of the military facilities. Professor Leo Langstein, a personality of the Children's Clinic was killed in 1933. After WWII, the clinic was re-created as part of the Free University Berlin and its university connection guarantees a permanent high standard of the medical personnel. 
The hospital expanded and diversified during years, especially after WWII, when the buildings were affected by the bombings. Some of the sections were connected to the war industry, especially the Women's clinic were sterilizations were made. The new buildings keep the red bricks style, but added more glass and hence, transparency. The modern section is also relatively higher than the rest, the 9-store building having an interesting transparent elevator that leads to the last floor from where one can contemplate the West side of Berlin. In 1957, a Reanimation Center was created, and in 1975, there was created the first Computer tomography center and from 2001, the old Roentgen technique was fully digitalised. After the war, the hospital was one of the first to introduce medication against kidney stones. 
The hospital is accredited by the US Joint International Commission and is a special destination for medical tourism in Germany. The website has an English version too, mentioning, among others, that with a personnel of over 3,400, DRK Westend Clinic is considered one of the 27 biggest employers of the Berlin economy. Beyond my personal experience with the hospital, which was impressive by now, with high quality of services, I also had the feedback from some friends of mine, who gave birth there as expats, and grateful for the assistance and the professionalism of the doctors. 
It is not a pleasure to visit a hospital but the art hidden in the bushes or the playground where the children can play may challenge your mood. When you know that you are in the hands of good doctors, you can also feel safe and thinking more optimistically about the future.

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