Medical Tourism in Turkey: Features, Benefits & Tips
The concept of health tourism has gained prominence with the advent of globalisation. People now travel to receive high-quality medical treatment. In this regard, Turkey has become a popular medical tourism destination. Nearly 552,000 people worldwide prefer Turkey for their treatments and surgical procedures.
Are you planning for medical tourism in Turkey? Then, this is just the right place for you. Keep reading to get a comprehensive overview.
What Is Medical Tourism?
Medical tourism is a term used to describe the movement from one place to another in search of quality care and medical treatment. It has evolved much over the years. Previously, people from poorer countries had to move to the richer ones, as they did not have access to proper healthcare facilities in their home country.
However, nowadays, people from richer countries often travel to the poorer ones to find medical options at an affordable range. Therefore, medical tourism is preferable as it allows for unleashing multiple options and price ranges, which cannot be found in the healthcare facilities of a single country.
What Is the Significance of Medical Tourism in Turkey?
Turkey was always known for its natural beauty, attracting tourists for vacations. However, health tourism in Turkey has recently started gaining popularity. Its top-notch medical care at a pocket-friendly range makes it suitable for attracting people needing treatments. Moreover, the majority of the hospitals are JCI-accredited, which proves their authenticity.
Turkey is aiming to enter the EU in future. For this, the government has invested wholeheartedly in technology and medical science. The Turkish Ministry of Health monitors most hospitals and the medical staff members are mostly English-speaking to attend to the international patients.
Why Is Medical Tourism Needed?
Medical tourism has gained popularity for multiple reasons. The following reasons will help you understand why you should consider medical tourism.
- It allows you to explore various medical care options from across the world.
- You can find healthcare services at an affordable range compared to your home country.
- There might be shorter waiting times in other countries for critical procedures.
- Health tourism allows you to explore a broader range of medical procedures and innovative healthcare services.
- Medical tourism allows you to find countries with better technological tools and equipment for high-end treatments.
- Finally, it also improves your mental health as you get to enjoy a vacation with treatment.
What Are Some Categories of Medical Tourism in Turkey?
Categorisation of medical tourism can help you understand the kind of tourism you might need for your health issues. Here are some general categories.
- Domestic Medical Tourism: When people travel from a state of their homeland to another state, it is domestic tourism. They do not need to go overseas for this.
- Outbound Medical Tourism: In this type of tourism, people move from their original country to a foreign nation overseas, seeking medical treatment and health services. It is the most common form of medical tourism.
- Inbound Medical Tourism: People move from a foreign country to their home country to find suitable healthcare services in this type of medical tourism.
Why Consider Turkey for Medical Tourism?
If you are considering health tourism in Turkey, knowing about some of its features can help you make the right decision. Here are the reasons you should consider while planning health tourism in this country.
1. Cost of Medical Treatment
Turkey offers high-end medical care and treatment at an affordable price. You can choose low, medium or high-cost health packages based on the kind of treatment and facilities you need. In general, the price is still lower than in most countries, like the UK and the US, when it comes to various healthcare services. Here is a price list to give you an idea.
|Medical Procedures||Cost in Turkey (in Turkish Lira or ₺)||Minimum Cost (in Turkish Lira or ₺)||Maximum Cost (In Turkish Lira or ₺ )|
|LASIK Eye Surgery||18,767||18,636||27,954|
|Root Canal (per canal)||2,439||1,863||2,795|
|Face Lift (Rhytidectomy)||75,067||55,909||93,546|
|Breast Augmentation (Mammoplasty)||75,067||55,909||84,546|
|Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)||75,067||55,909||121,987|
2. Quality of Healthcare Services
Turkey has invested in medical science with cutting-edge technology, tools and facilities. The medical team is highly experienced, offering 24/7 services to international patients. The doctors must take a long six-year and undergo some complicated training sessions to start practising, and they all possess professional liability insurance.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Health is responsible for monitoring the health services and facilities by law. This reduces the possibility of corruption or exploitation of the patients. Turkey also has more drugs registered than most CIS countries, making it easier for patients to find drugs during treatment.
3. Cutting-edge Infrastructure
The Turkish government has successfully invested in improving the quality of medical science with the most advanced and high-quality equipment and facilities. Here are the most popular health facilities and services in Turkey.
- Advanced Equipment: Almost all the hospitals of Turkey operate with high-end technological tools and equipment for clinical services. They use CyberKnife M6, Robotic surgery, and PET/CT to ensure optimum care. Moreover, areas like oncological treatment, neurosurgery, paediatric surgery, cardiovascular surgery, orthopaedics, dental surgery, etc., use innovative health facilities.
- Accommodation: Foreign patients can receive a direct transfer from the hospital based on the kind of health packages they choose. In this, they will get hotel accommodation, and one of the relatives can stay with the patient in the hospital. Moreover, patients receive luxurious services during their stay in the hospital.
- Specific Services for Medical Tourists: International patients visiting Turkey for medical tourism can receive multiple services. For instance, Turkish hospitals have 24-hour translation services. Moreover, there is also active assistance to complete all kinds of documentation in native and Turkish languages for such patients.
4. Wide Range of Options
There are multiple good hospitals in Turkey, which makes it easier for people to find suitable treatment options. In addition, they are mostly JCI-accredited, so there is no fear of quality. This factor also reduces the waiting period, which benefits patients who require immediate medical attention.
5. Health Research
The healthcare industry of Turkey has also contributed with the help of sophisticated research regarding medical science. It has contributed to the fields of Oncology, Biochemistry, Neurology, Cardiology and Infections. Turkey Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (TITCK) is responsible for conducting the research under the supervision of the Ministry of Health.
What Are the Popular Services for Medical Tourism in Turkey?
People might visit Turkey for any kind of medical procedure. However, some of the most common ones are as follows.
- Hair Transplant: This is a standard procedure that patients prefer in Turkey. The hospitals here offer 100% success rates as compared to European countries. Moreover, the procedure is much cheaper than in other countries, attracting medical tourists.
- Dental Procedures: The dental clinics in Turkey offer high-quality dental services with a high success rate. Some of the most popular procedures include crowns, veneers, implants, teeth whitening, etc. In addition, they are again more affordable.
- Plastic Surgery: This is again popular among medical tourists. Nearly 100,000 people visit Turkey for plastic and cosmetic surgeries. Some common surgeries include breast reduction, rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, gynecomastia and otoplasty. Additionally, forehead reduction, neck lifts, chin implants, lip fillers etc., are also popular here.
- Fertility Surgeries: These surgeries are not only expensive but also prohibited in some countries. Medical tourists, therefore, visit Turkey to seek treatment against these conditions. IVF, IUI, ICSI, artificial insemination and cryo-preservation of embryos are a few common procedures in this regard.
- Ophthalmology Surgeries: The departments of eye health are also known for quality care. People visit Turkey to seek procedures like LASIK, Cataract, PRK and Smart Intraocular Lens Implants (IOL). They are affordable and have high success rates.
- Stem Cell Transplantation: the JCI-accredited hospitals of Turkey can handle complicated procedures like stem cell transplantation. Patients who have diabetes, Parkinson's, autism, Alzheimer's, and multiple sclerosis often visit Turkey for this procedure.
What Are the Best Places for Medical Tourism in Turkey?
If you are planning Turkish medical tourism, you should know where to stay to avoid travelling long distances for treatment. Here are the top cities in Turkey for healthcare services.
- Istanbul: The capital of Turkey, Istanbul is hands down the best city for medical tourists. It has over 62 public hospitals and offers the most extensive transportation network. In addition, it is easier to travel to other parts of the country from Istanbul, which makes it an ideal place to stay.
- Balcova: It is a small city with a few healthcare facilities like İzmir Dokuz Eylül University Faculty of Medicine Hospital. It is relatively inexpensive compared to Istanbul.
- Konak: This is another small city in Turkey where you can stay while getting your medical treatment. The famous Batigoz Eye Hospital is located here. Hence, you can stay here if you are getting ophthalmology care.
- Ankara: This city is one of the most budget-friendly areas in Turkey. It also has some prominent hospitals like Medicana International Ankara and Gurgan Clinic.
- Gaziantep: Finally, this is another famous city in Turkey where medical tourists prefer to stay. It is the house of the well-known Dunyagoz Hospital. It also offers a good network of transportation.
What Are the Advantages of Medical Tourism in Turkey?
Here are some advantages of wellness tourism in Turkey to help you make the right decision.
- Available Medication: More medication is available in Turkey than in most other countries. This is because it has more registered drugs, which allows patients to find medicines easily while receiving medical treatment. It reduces the time and hassles of finding rare medication in times of emergency.
- Assistance for International Patients: The healthcare facility is designed to serve medical tourists from across the globe. The medical team are English-speaking, and there is an option for 24-hour translation. Moreover, hospitals also offer complete guidance regarding filling out forms and completing the documentation in Turkish.
- Short Waiting Time: There are various hospitals here, so the waiting time is much lower compared to the western countries. Medical tourists, therefore, often visit this country to seek quicker medical attention to critical conditions.
- Vacation Options: Turkey is a beautiful country with high tourism value. Millions of tourists visit Turkey every year to witness its natural beauty. This is another advantage of medical tourism here, as you enjoy a vacation within its memorable tourist spots. In addition, it will be relaxing for both your mind and body, working as a healing component during your stay.
What Are the Possible Problems with Medical Tourism?
While it seems like medical tourism is the perfect answer to the rising concerns regarding medical conditions, it will be advisable to know about some of its drawbacks. Therefore, keep the following factors in mind to avoid getting in trouble during your medical tour to Turkey.
- Expenses of Travel: One of the biggest problems is the expenses in terms of travel and accommodation in a foreign country. It can be a severe problem when you already spend a lump sum on your medical treatment.
- Lack of Infrastructure: You might experience a lack of infrastructure after arriving in a new country. The problem is that medical tourists have to rely on reviews and claims of the hospitals, which might not be accurate in the actual experience.
- Language and Cultural Barriers: Another problem is the communication gap, which arises from the barrier between language and culture. While some countries have facilities to handle international patients, others might need help understanding their requirements of the lack of translation.
- Sanitation Issues: If you seek treatment in a new country merely for an affordable facility, there might be a risk of sanitation. This is a problem when you are entirely unaware of the practices in a particular country, culture and healthcare.
- Legal Trouble: If you are unaware of the laws of a foreign country while visiting it, you might experience some legal trouble for any simple activity. While it might be legal in your home country, a foreign country might condemn it.
- Discriminatory Practises: There can be discriminatory practices in the healthcare facilities of some countries, promoting racism or ethnic discrimination. This will affect your treatment and also hamper your mental health.
Is it Safe to Travel After a Surgical Procedure?
It is challenging to presume if travelling is permissible after a medical procedure. Various factors are responsible for determining the same. For instance, doctors might not advise an aged person to travel even after a simple surgical procedure. The complexity of the procedure, age, health condition and comorbidities of the patient should decide this.
The best thing to do here is to consult the doctor before the surgery starts. In addition, it will help you if you find out about the possibilities of travel in advance to get your return tickets. It is generally better to wait for a couple of weeks before travelling after a surgical procedure.
What Are The Tips for Medical Tourism in Turkey?
Now that you know all about medical tourism, here are some tips to help you ensure the best experience in countries like Turkey.
- Do Your Research: It is always advisable to do research before moving to a foreign country for medical tourism. Here, you can use the internet to look up the history of medical tourism in a country and the patients' reviews regarding its health facilities. It will help you shortlist the best option.
- Plan Your Stay: It is advisable to plan the entire stay just like regular tourism. However, it would help if you plan the expenses and days of accommodation, keeping your treatment duration in mind. This will help you avoid spending excessive amounts as you go.
- Learn About Your Surgeon: Knowing about your surgeon will be better when you are undergoing critical procedures. Find out about the surgeon's qualifications, fellowships and affiliations besides reviews and ratings. This will be better than going along with a surgeon who is a complete stranger and is paranoid about their capability.
- Communicate With the Hospitals: While international calls can be expensive, it is advisable to communicate directly with the hospitals rather than believing in third parties. You will find the contact details of hospitals on their official website. Find out about their facilities and prices by talking to them, and keep notes of their offers.
- Compare the Prices: You can compare the prices the different hospitals offer in a foreign country and look into their facilities. This will make it easier for you to choose the most suitable hospital that covers all your requirements.
- Consult With a Travel Planner: If you are not confident in planning the whole process by yourself, you can seek help from a professional travel planner. Such people are experienced in handling all kinds of tourism requirements, and they will help you plan a good trip within your budget.
Hopefully, now you know all about medical tourism in Turkey. If you plan this tourism, you can follow the tips mentioned here. Turkey has an impressive healthcare network. Its hospitals offer a wide range of services at affordable prices. Moreover, you can enjoy a beautiful vacation in this picturesque country while undergoing treatment.