5 Reasons Why Turkey is Turning into a Medical Tourism Capital
Turkey is one of the oldest countries in the world. It has a rich heritage, leading it to become popular with tourists, and it is now starting to become a centre for medical tourists too. It saw roughly 130,000 medical tourists from all over the world in 2010, according to reports by the Turkish government. The number surpassed 850,000 in 2018. But why is this happening? Here are 5 reasons why Turkey is turning into a medical tourism capital.
- The Growth of World Class Facilities
Turkey has always been able to take care of its people and has been investing in world-class hospitals and clinics. For example, nearly all of the hospitals in Turkey are ISO 2001 certified. That is on top of Turkey’s Joint Commission International or JCI accredited facilities that are affiliated with Harvard Medical School and Johns Hopkins Medicine.
This attracts people from surrounding countries that don’t have facilities this good. It is also drawing the attention of people from further abroad. After all, you don’t have to choose between cost and quality of care when you’re visiting a Turkish hospital. Turkey knows that encouraging people to use these facilities will help pay for their construction and expansion.
- The Impact of Socialised Medicine
It’s no secret that the NHS is under extreme pressure at the moment. This forces them to ration care. They may deny services for smokers or people over the age of 7, for instance, or they may make you wait for months or years for a procedure. Many patients can’t afford to wait that long to get the necessary surgeries or dental work done. Worse yet, the wait is longer for optional procedures like reconstruction after cancer surgery or repair of a deviated septum.
In contrast, Turkey has been investing in its City Hospitals while facilitating the growth of private hospitals. The latter often cater to medical tourists. Turkey sees medical tourism as a great way to foster ties with the EU while proving it has the same level of infrastructure as the European Union.
The cost of living in Turkey is much lower than in the neighbouring European Union or the UK. This cost differential applies to medical procedures, too. This makes everything from heart bypass surgeries to cosmetic surgeries cost a fraction of what they do in the developed world.
Procedures like heart valve replacements, knee replacements, and hip replacements cost as little as a tenth the price you’d pay in a private hospital in Europe. Dental implants, in vitro fertilisation and hysterectomies cost around half as much. The price you’d pay for optional, cosmetic procedures like a gastric sleeve, rhinoplasty, or liposuction is around half the price as well. On top of this, Turkish Airlines offers discounted airfare for medical tourists.
Not only are most hospitals in Turkey as good as European hospitals, but you can reach them via a 4-hour flight. You’ll find that there are regular flights every day to the rest of the EU as well as connections to the rest of Turkey.
Some doctors take it to the next level. For example, doctors like Baris Yigit have offices both in London and Fethiye, Turkey. This allows you to consult with him on home soil before you leave. After all, why have a tummy tuck UK when you can “have your surgery in Fethiye where the sun and the sea are dancing as if they are in heaven?” His website is also a great place if you want to learn more about tummy tucks, so, if you want to learn more about the procedure, you can read more here.
After you’ve recovered, you’ll have the chance to enjoy the many tourist destinations in the country. For example, you could see Hierapolis, the Hagia Sophia, or Mount Nemrut, or spend a few days basking on the Mediterranean Sea.
Just make sure you stay safe by sticking with government taxis instead of cheaper private taxi services. You may also find that it is cheaper to stay in Turkey for the full 6 weeks it takes to recover from a tummy tuck than it is to recover at home. As a tourist, it is very easy to relax for a few weeks and hire someone else to do all the heavy lifting.
While English isn’t commonly spoken by many Turks, the government has been seeking to overcome this so it can better serve English speaking medical tourists. The health ministry set up a hotline service to provide free translation services for any international patient who would like to speak with a medical doctor in Turkey.
It’s also easy to hire a translator to facilitate communications when you reach Turkey. However, it is better to choose a doctor at a hospital that knows how to support foreign patients. In any case, Turkey is seeking to break down the language barrier to serve medical tourists.
Turkey is intentionally transforming itself into a medical tourism destination. It allows Turkey to grow its economy and strengthen its ties with the rest of the world, while patients benefit from world-class care at a reasonable price.