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Health Tourism in Turkey

What is Health Tourism?

Health tourism is traveling from the country of residence to another country for treatment purposes for any reason. Those who go for treatment purposes are called health tourists. Health tourism should not be considered as a type of tourism that is visited only for treatment in hospitals.

Although all kinds of tourism that offer a healthy life should be accepted as health tourism, we divide health tourism into 3 main sections:

  1. Medical Tourism (Treatment and surgery in hospitals)
  2. Thermal Tourism (Services such as rehabilitation and rest in thermal facilities)
  3. Elderly and Disabled Tourism (Long-term stays in geriatric treatment centers or highlands with social activities)

Causes of Health Tourism

Health tourism is very diverse and includes many reasons. The main reason for this is to be healthy in a different country with better conditions. Here we have listed the most important reasons for health tourism for you.

  • Lack or absence of high-tech health services and professional human resources in their country,
  • The desire to have a vacation with treatment,
  • Healthcare services are expensive in their own countries,
  • Desiring to receive much better quality health service,
  • Not wanting to know the operation in his own country for any reason (Aesthetic Surgery, Infertility treatment, etc.)
  • The desire of chronic patients, elderly and disabled people to go to other environments and to be treated,
  • The desire of people with drugs and different addictions to be in a different or more suitable environment,

Advantages of Health Tourism in Turkey

Turkey’s health tourism has a lot of advantages. Here are the most important and featured advantages of Turkey’s health tourism:

  • Reasonable price
  • Positive Environment
  • Qualified Staff
  • High-Quality Devices
  • Comfortable Hospital Rooms
  • Social or Cultural Reasons
  • Short Waiting Time
  • Close to the Middle East and European Countries
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To prove the affordability of health tourism in Turkey, we offer two examples:

Open heart surgery in European countries is approximately 25,000 EUR, while it’s 8,000 EUR in Turkey.

The IVF treatment in the United States averagely costs 15,000 USD, while it costs 2,500 USD in Turkey.

Services of Health Tourism in Turkey

In Turkey, there are 42 health institutions that meet the international standards of JCI. Private, public, and university hospitals, especially in Istanbul and Ankara, are equipped with the best equipment in the world. These hospitals serve in various fields such as oncology, plastic surgery, cardiovascular, orthopedics, neurology, pediatrics, bone marrow, eye, tooth, organ transplantation, etc.

Operators fluent in English, German, Russian and Arabic languages serve 7/24 at the Ministry of Health, Medical Tourism Department. All physicians are obliged to ensure their professional obligations, and in the event of any medical mistake or negligence, the insurance will immediately compensate for damages. All Turkish hospitals operate according to national standard criteria and are audited twice a year. According to the law, all issues related to medical tourism are under the responsibility of the Turkish Ministry of Health.

Important Cities of Health Tourism in Turkey

The most preferred health tourist cities in Turkey is Istanbul and Antalya. Important cities visited for health tourism include Ankara, Izmir, Bursa, Kocaeli, Yalova, Kayseri, Mugla, and Aydın.

Customers of Health Tourism in Turkey

Turkey’s health tourism attracts visitors from over 130 countries including Iraq, Azerbaijan, Germany, Iran, Russia, Libya, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, and Macedonia.

Statistics of Health Tourism in Turkey

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The table below provides statistics on the number of tourists and their income from 2012 to the first quarter of 2020. To avoid confusion for dear readers, all numbers are rounded.

Year Number of Tourist (Thousand People) Tourism Revenue (Million USD)
2012 216 154
2013 267 188
2014 415 329
2015 360 260
2016 377 252
2017 433 327
2018 552 438
2019 662 1,065
2020 (First Quarter) 143 188

Last Word

Private and public hospitals built in the last 10 years are equipped with the same technological equipment and physical conditions as Western countries. Turkey also ranks seventh in the world, and first in Europe in the field of thermal tourism. The number of thermal hotels is growing rapidly. Therefore, investing in this sector is one of the most profitable investments with a bright future.

In the last 10 years, the number of medical tourists in the world has exceeded 10 million and reached an annual turnover of 100 billion dollars. In addition, it is estimated that the number and turnover of tourists in thermal tourism, spa, elderly and disabled tourism exceed medical tourism.

According to the research, the global medical tourism market is expected to reach a value of $ 227 million by 2023. Turkey, which has a long history in the health tourism industry, plans to have a $ 20 billion share of this global market in 2023. Given Turkey’s experience in this area, as well as its good performance against the Covid 19 virus, this goal does not seem far-fetched.

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