Medical Tourism Hub On the Rise: Turkey

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Situated between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, Turkey has quickly become a popular destination for medical tourism. People from all over the world, with different backgrounds and life stories, are choosing Turkey for various medical treatments. Whether it’s weight-loss surgery, cancer treatment, heart surgery, or cosmetic procedures, Turkey offers a wide range of medical services.

To understand why Turkey has become so successful in medical tourism, we need to take a closer look. By examining Turkey’s location, its mix of cultures, and the types of medical treatments available, we can figure out why so many people are coming here for medical care, and why you should plan for your medical holiday in Turkey.

1. Accreditation of Healthcare Facilities and Standardization of Quality

Healthcare Reform Initiatives

At the turn of the 21st century, Turkey launched comprehensive healthcare reform programs aimed at equitable distribution of qualified medical personnel, expanding healthcare facilities, and upgrading medical equipment. These initiatives were aligned with EU membership reforms, focusing on enhancing infrastructure across the country. As a result, Turkey saw remarkable improvements in living conditions, including reductions in infant mortality rates and increased satisfaction with the healthcare system.

Accreditation and Quality Standardization

Recognizing the importance of quality standardization in healthcare, the Turkish Ministry of Health took proactive steps to accredit healthcare facilities, leading to Turkey ranking among the top three countries globally with the highest number of accredited facilities. This achievement was made possible through strong government policies and collaboration between public and private sectors. Regular official inspections ensure compliance with quality standards, including medical equipment and personnel qualifications, with measures taken to address any deficiencies.

Resilience During Crisis and Global Aid

Turkey’s healthcare system demonstrated resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring continuous delivery of public health services despite challenges. Additionally, Turkey provided medical equipment aid to 160 countries, including the UK and USA, during the peak of the pandemic. These efforts underscore Turkey’s commitment to global health and its emerging role as a hub for medical tourism.

2. Engagement in R&D and Modern Medical Treatments

Turkey’s ascent as a burgeoning medical tourism destination is characterized by the collaborative efforts of both private and public healthcare facilities, coupled with leading medical faculties. Stimulated by government incentives, these entities actively engage in research and development (R&D) studies and clinical examinations, aiming to pioneer new methods of treatment and advance medical equipment within the field of medicine. This collective effort is geared towards maximizing patient satisfaction by delivering a wide range of high-quality services to patients worldwide.

Across Turkey, medical faculties collaborate with internationally renowned healthcare organizations such as John Hopkins Medicine and Harvard Medical School, fostering R&D studies that push the boundaries of medical innovation. Notably, Turkey’s commitment to transforming the medical landscape has yielded significant breakthroughs, including the world’s first successful face transplant surgery in 2012.

As a prime example, Vera Clinic introduced Oxycure Therapy and Sapphire FUE in 2013, revolutionizing the field of hair transplant surgery. These innovations underscore Turkey’s dedication to pioneering advancements in medical treatments, further solidifying its position as a leading medical tourism hub in global healthcare innovation.

3. Advanced Human Capital

Turkey’s evolution into a medical tourism hub since the early 21st century is closely tied to the country’s abundance of skilled medical professionals and its commitment to maintaining high standards in medical education. This commitment is evidenced by significant investment in medical faculties and rigorous admission criteria. With over 70 medical faculties across the country, aspiring medical students undergo a stringent selection process, requiring proficiency in various skills, including analytical, mathematical, and visual intelligence, to secure a place. The entrance examination, known as YKS, ensures that only the top percentile of students gain entry.

The medical curriculum in Turkey spans six demanding years, encompassing both theoretical knowledge and practical experience essential for a successful medical career. Upon completion, students must pass the rigorous TUS examination to specialize in their chosen field, demonstrating their proficiency as medical professionals. This rigorous education process ensures that graduates possess a diverse skill set, extensive experience, and comprehensive theoretical knowledge necessary for their careers.

The Turkish Ministry of Health plays a crucial role in maintaining the quality of medical personnel and conducting strict inspections of private healthcare facilities. Furthermore, Turkey boasts a wealth of medical professionals who have graduated from reputable international medical colleges abroad, enriching the country’s human capital.

Combined with a dedication to innovation in medical treatments and state-of-the-art medical equipment, Turkey offers a comprehensive range of services for international patients, solidifying its position as a global medical tourism hub.

4. First-Class Quality at Economy-Class Price  

Turkey’s emergence as a leading medical tourism destination isn’t solely attributed to the quality of its services, advanced medical equipment, research and development studies, and skilled workforce. Practical considerations also play a significant role in attracting international patients. Particularly noteworthy is the competitive pricing of medical services, a key factor influencing the decisions of international patients.

Turkey offers several comparative advantages over developed countries, especially in fields such as medical aesthetics, including hair transplants, dental treatments, and plastic surgeries. These procedures often aren’t covered by health insurance in developed countries and entail lengthy waiting periods. In contrast, Turkey provides high-quality medical aesthetics procedures at prices comparable to economy-class rates, with minimal waiting times. Additionally, the pricing of medical services in Turkey often includes hotel accommodation and transportation services, further enhancing its appeal to international patients.

(Average HT cost in UK: 15,000 Euros, Average HT cost in Europe: 8500 Euros, Average HT cost in Turkey: 2500 Euros)

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5. Diversity of Natural and Historical Beauties

As a land steeped in ancient history, Turkey boasts a wealth of unique historical sites and monumental structures dating back to the dawn of civilization. Places like Gobekli Tepe in Sanlıurfa stand as testaments to Turkey’s rich cultural heritage, offering a glimpse into the depths of human history waiting to be explored. Turkey presents itself as a pristine destination, offering an unparalleled experience rich in history, cultural diversity, and the mystique of the Orient, alongside top-notch medical services at affordable prices for international patients.

In particular, Istanbul, with its illustrious past as the capital of various civilizations including the Ottoman Empire, Byzantine Empire, and Roman Empire, offers an array of historical and natural wonders. From iconic landmarks like Hagia Sophia and Topkapı Palace to the majestic Galata Tower and Dolmabahçe Palace, Istanbul captivates visitors with its enchanting blend of history and beauty. Despite living in Istanbul for decades, residents still find themselves enchanted by the city’s sense of mystery, discovering hidden historical treasures waiting to be unearthed.

Moreover, Turkey is blessed with abundant thermal resources, enhancing the medical experience for international patients. Ranking first in Europe and seventh globally in terms of thermal resources, Turkey provides a unique opportunity for patients to combine medical treatment with the therapeutic benefits of thermal spas.

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In summary, Turkey offers a myriad of natural and historical wonders that complement its exceptional medical services, making it an ideal destination for those seeking both healing and exploration. However, choosing the right clinic can be the factor that makes or breaks your experience with Turkey as a medical tourism hub. Make sure to read our full guide on how to choose the ideal clinic from here: 6 Factors To Consider Before Choosing a Dental Clinic In Turkey

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