Medical Tourism In Turkey Is A Thriving Industry
Turkey is one of the oldest inhabited countries of the world. Its location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia makes Turkey, originally Anatolia, a country of significant strategic importance. The same strategic importance has been of utmost utility in establishing Turkey as a prime destination for medical tourists.
Attracting close to 130,000 people every year from across the globe for medical treatment, Turkey has firmly asserted its authority and ability in the health tourism department, giving impetus to the Turkish government to force the issue and pump further funds and resources into improving amenities at an unprecedented rate.
World Class Facilities
The medicine industry in the country is self-sufficient with regard to the domestic and international demand for treatment. This ensures that tourists visiting from countries abroad don’t have waiting periods for treatments.
Turkey has become highly regarded for dental treatment, hair transplants, and various cosmetic surgery procedures and offers incredible facilities at surprisingly low rates
This makes a prime destination for patients seeking medical attention in such areas. Almost all hospitals in the country have a dedicated cosmetic surgery wing. Turkey’s JCI accredited medical facilities are affiliated with top-tier US providers such as Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins Medicine, etc.
Certified Staff And Hospitals
With almost all hospitals in the country ISO 2001 certified and 47 Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited hospitals, Turkey’s private medical infrastructure is a well-built option in the global medical tourism arena. The certification of the amenities ensures the maintenance of a certain standard.
Hospitals in Aziz, Istanbul and Ankara are considered to be at the same level as numerous highly regarded European hospitals. One can easily reach Turkey by plane, from many countries and in a short period of time. Turkey is an EU candidate country currently fulfilling membership criteria, thus ensuring high and consistent standards in healthcare.
More than 700,000 patients visit Turkey every year, particularly Istanbul, to avail high quality treatment in its hospitals. Source: Fcuk1203 via commons.wikimedia.org
Tourist Friendly Environment
The strategic location of the country, which made it one of the oldest permanently settled places in the world, lends itself to easy of access for tourists in many countries parts of the world not least because of its close vicinity to the Asian and African Mainland. The fact that it also borders the Mediterranean Sea and Dead Sea and has very efficient air travel connectivity makes it the country even more accessible.
Turkey is home to a vast number of historical and architectural attractions scattered all over the country. There are 13 certified World Heritage Sites in the country including Mount Nemrut, Hattusa, Heirapolis and many more, making it an extremely attractive tourist attraction for anyone with spare time in the country. The capital city of Ankara hosts a major airport and there are regular flights in and out of the country to most major international cities and tourist hotspots which are options for patients who need to spend time, post treatment, in recovery.
Fast Growing Destination
Over the last decade or so, the Turkish government has taken decisive steps towards improving the economic and healthcare facilities in the country making it one of the fastest growing medical tourism destinations across the world.
There has been a meteoric rise in the number of medical, tourists visiting Turkey in the past few years- from 74,093 patients in 2008 to 109,678 in 2010, as per data from MTA (Medical Tourism Association). The wide variety of treatment options provided by the country’s hospitals and the state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities attract hordes of tourists from surrounding countries.
APPROXIMATE TREATMENT COST COMPARISON
Turkey, like other popular medical tourism destinations, provides excellent facilities and treatments, for a fraction of the price for the same treatment in USA or UK.
|PROCEDURE||APPROX. COST IN USA (in USD)||APPROX. COST IN TURKEY (in USD)|
|Heart Valve Replacement||170,000||17,200|
•figures supplied by medhalt
IS IT SAFE?
Turkey is considered to be one of the top 10 medical tourist destinations in the world, thanks to the excellent quality of services and specialist knowledge and experience of the medical staff.
The city of istanbul itself has 48 JCI accredited medical facilities. As a medical tourist, you are in safe hands of the doctors here.
HOW IS HEALTHCARE IN THE COUNTRY?
The healthcare system of the country has undergone exponential changes in the recent decades. The Healthcare Transformation Program (HTP) has improved healthcare in the country substantially, and has led to better life expectancy (75 years), maternal mortality (3 per thousand) and child mortality (14 per thousand). Thanks to medical tourism, locals from rural areas can travel to the cities in order to utilize the perks of private healthcare.
DO DOCTORS SPEAK ENGLISH?
English is becoming a commonly spoken language in the country notably in the tourist resorts and large cities. The government has also taken commendable steps to overcome this disadvantage and to facilitate medical tourism. The health ministry in 2012 launched a hotline service that would allow international patients to speak to any doctor along with a translator through a teleconference. These translators are available 24/7 and speak mainly in English, Russian, German, and Arabic. In addition, translator services, for when you reach the city to get treated, are also widely available.
Turkey is a prime destination for medical tourists seeking cosmetic surgery. Treatments like liposuction, orthodontics, rhinoplasty, breast augmentation are extremely popular. In addition to this, most hospitals in Turkey also provide cardiovascular surgery, brain surgery, orthopedic joint (knee & hip) replacements. A number of highly regarded hospitals in the country, such as Anadolu Medical Center, Bayindir Hospital, Guven Hospital and many more offer revolutionary and fresh treatment technologies like Cyberknife.
Liposuction in turkey costs as low as $1900, whereas the same procedure can cost upto $7300 in UK. Source: CMSRC via commons.wikimedia.org
Critical procedures like kidney dialysis, prostate operations, organ transplants (heart, kidney, liver, pancreas, small intestine, bone marrow), in-vitro fertilization treatments and fertility operations are offered at most major hospitals in the country. Dental treatments and surgical eye operations are also performed at numerous hospitals. Special emphasis needs to be given on the state of oncology treatment in the country.
Similar to Japan, Turkey has a rapidly growing cancer-treatment department, with hospitals bringing in medical professionals and referral doctors from renowned medical institutions from USA, such as Johns Hopkins, Harvard etc., to augment oncology departments of hospitals in the country.
WHERE TO GO IN TURKEY
Istanbul, the largest city in all of Europe, is home to a number of professional hospitals, most of which are JCI accredited. Istanbul Ataturk, a major airport, is well-connected to important cities in most continents. Numerous historical monuments like the Hagia Sophia, Column of Constantine, Monastery of Stoudios etc. serve as side-attractions for visiting medical tourists.
According to Turkey’s ministry of health, the country has become the 6th most visited country for medical tourism, with the capital city Ankara attracting hordes of patients. Source: HTME via en.wikipedia.org
Ankara, the capital city too has many hospitals, most of which are centric towards cosmetic surgery. Ankara, like Istanbul, is very well-connected to major cities via air transport. The added advantages of cheap and reliable accommodation in the interior parts of the city, on top of the presence of innumerable picturesque museums, tombs, mosques, inns etc., make for a very well-rounded stay in the city.
The weather varies in the different locations of the country. The average temperature of inland Turkey in summer is 23 degree celsius and during the winter is -2 degree celsius. Cities such as Istanbul and Edirne are located here. Most of the hospitals are located in inland Turkey, given the pleasant weather and developed infrastructure in the cities.
The black sea region, with cities such as Trabzon, enjoys a warm and humid climate, ranging between 7 degree celsius and 23 degree celsius.
The coastal region has a temperate climate, with an average temperature of 18 degree celsius all year round. Cities of Izmir, Aydin, and Ayvalik are located here.
You can easily get around in Turkey by using the roadways. Inside the city, you can travel through trams and local minibuses called a ‘dolmus’. Certain cities like Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir also provide the underground metro service. You can even hire taxis for travel, although they are a relatively expensive option. Buses are an economical travel option and run between as well as within cities. The sea route makes cruises and ferries a viable option for those looking for luxury travel.
You require a visa to enter Turkey unless you are a citizen of one of the 78 visa-exempt countries or one of the 43 countries which are eligible for an e-visa on arrival. If you’re from countries such as Canada, US and UK, you are eligible for the e-visa on arrival facility. You must hold a passport for at least 6 months before arrival to the country. The visa application procedure for a medical tourist is the same as that of a normal tourist. Hence, the requirement for a visa depends upon your nationality.
IS THE QUALITY SAME AS HOME?
Assuring the same quality in medical care as home is not a difficult task in Turkey. The country has been ranked 6th in the list of most visited medical destinations in the world, a number assuring in itself. You can choose from among 47 JCI accredited hospitals in the country. In addition, the Ministry of Health Care in Turkey takes the charge of directly managing health care providers effectively. The hospitality and warmth of the medical staff as well as the public is said to be popular. Patient testimonials also point towards the same fact.
Turkey, in a nutshell, serves to the average tourist a plethora of options, from breathtaking landscape to awe-inspiring monuments to wondrous medical treatment.The multitude and professionalism of the staff here not only leaves the patients more than well satisfied, but the sheer well-roundedness of the experience makes for a typically refreshing experience in the land of fusion of Anatolia and Eastern Thrace.
Interested in getting medical treatment in Turkey?