TURKEY AT THE MEDICAL TOURISM MARKET

James Morris - Mar 6, 2007
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Turkey offers quality health care for medical tourists. Doctors and personnel are highly qualified and often educated in western countries and the equipment in local hospitals is state-of-the-art. Most-wanted treatments at Turkey’s private hospitals are heart surgeries, laser eye surgeries, and Plastic Surgeries, e.g. nose surgery, breast augmentation, liposuction or abdominal surgery (tummy tuck). Last but not least, dental procedures are popular, including general dentistry, dental esthetics, cosmetic dentistry and implants.

 

As always, the main thing that attracts tourists is the price of medical treatment in this country. Dental surgery, for example, is approximately a quarter of the price in the EU. On the other hand, as Turkey plans to join the EU, local bodies have implemented rigorous quality and technical standards for all procedures.

 

Another positive factor is the location of the country. Turkey is geographically close to Western European countries. What is also important for a country which offers services to medical tourists is its attractiveness for holiday-making. Turkey is full of ancient sites and as it is located on top of a major geothermal belt, it is among the top seven countries in the world for quality and quantity of thermal springs: there are over 1000 of them with temperatures ranging from 20oC to 110oC. This makes the country an ideal place for holidays.

 

According to Dr. Fred DeMicco of Delaware University, a country that wants to promote her medical tourism needs to reduce the cost of importing certain drugs and reduce duties on imported medical equipment. He would also recommend tax breaks for those hospitals, clinics and specialty centers that specifically cater for foreigners. Dr. Taner Özcan, coordinator of the Private Hospitals and Medical Associations Organization (OHSAD) that represents up to 750 hospitals and health centers in Turkey, says that owners and directors of hospitals, hospital chains, hotels and insurance companies, leading doctors and specialized consultants should together create policy recommendations for the segment.

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