Turkey is one of the world’s premier destinations for medical tourism. On top of the high-quality facilities available, medical tourists have access to thermal spas and wellness services which incorporate five-star hotel accommodation into their packages. Turkey has become a destination of choice for medical tourists coming from European countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Germany, England, Netherlands, Romania, Bulgaria, and others, as well as Middle Eastern and Latin American countries.
Turkey is at the center of medical tourism and accommodates patients all over the world with its superb medical treatment and procedures. Every year, thousands of patients travel to Turkey to absorb the professional services, advanced medical techniques, and low costing treatments.
The most common treatments in Turkey are reflected in plastic surgery, dental procedures, transplants as well as treatments related to heart problems and cancer. Clinics and hospitals in Turkey behold the highest clinical standards. Patients traveling to Turkey can enjoy the remarkable climate and astonishing recovery accommodations that are pleasurable after being treated at some of the best medical programs in the world.
The low cost of treatment in Turkey is an amazing draw for patients — often absorbed at as much as 50% less than that of comparable procedures in the USA. With so much to offer, Turkey provides a tranquil setting and has given Turkey a grand status in the emerging medical tourism industry.
Medical Tourism in Turkey and Healthcare System
Turkey is currently seeking to join the European Union shortly. In preparation for this, both government and private healthcare institutions are conducting strict implementation of quality, technical and medical standards. These standards are constantly monitored by independent watchdogs established by the Ministry of Health.
The Ministry of Health, together with an Independent Turkish Medical Associations, sets the local standards and guidelines that are followed by hospitals, healthcare facilities, and medical practitioners.
The Turkish Ministry of Health owns and operates approximately 55% of Turkey’s 1200+ hospitals, while the rest are owned by universities, private companies, and foreign entities.
Many hospitals have local and international accreditations, including the JCI (Joint Commissions International), the JACHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations), ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and affiliations with Western medical groups and facilities.
Most hospitals in Turkey have English-speaking doctors and medical staff that are certified by the Turkish Medical Association as well as being members of organizations according to their specializations, including the Turkish Dental Association, Turkish Gynecologist & Obstetric Association, Turkish Orthopedic and Traumatology Association, Turkish Plastic Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery Society, Turkish Society of Cardiovascular Surgery, and other specialized associations.
Hospitals for Medical Tourism in Turkey
Turkey boasts of more than 30 medical facilities that are accredited by the Join Commission International. This is the largest accreditation that any country has ever achieved.
Some hospitals are affiliated with top US medical providers such as the Harvard Medical School and Johns Hopkins Medicine, amongst others.
Hospitals catering to medical tourism in Turkey are equipped with the latest medical technologies and have board-certified staff, with over 35% of physicians trained in the Western countries.
Medical Tourists in Turkey do common Treatments
For generations, Turkey has been known for its excellent thermal spa resorts, some of which have been in existence since the time of the Romans. In modern times, the hospitals and healthcare facilities in Turkey offer a wide array of procedures and services for medical travelers, which include but are not limited to the following:
- Plastic surgery.
- Hair transplant
- Fertility and Sterility.
- General and Aesthetic Dentistry.
- Beauty Centers.
- Eye Health.
- Obesity and Bariatric Surgery.
- Renal Dialysis.
- Stem Cell Transplantations.
- Sleep Disorders.
- Psoriasis Treatment.
- Oxygen Therapy.
Malpractice and Liability Laws in Turkey
In a report by Abigail Cotterill (from the ADMD Law Firm on Medical Malpractice in Turkey), she describes that there are relatively low malpractice suits in Turkey. This is the case, even when healthcare providers do not normally carry malpractice insurance, and the government is paying for damages on suits against state facilities.
In this regard, the Forensic Medicine Association was established in Turkey, focusing on legal cases involving malpractice. Reforms have also been established to implement compulsory insurance for medical practitioners in both state and private-owned health facilities.
JCI-accredited medical centers
With the highest number of JCI-accredited health facilities, medical tourists to Turkey are assured of high-quality infrastructure and services by these hospitals and their medical stuff.
Prices of medical care in Turkey are very competitive compared to Western European countries like the UK, Ireland, Austria, and Italy.
Hospitality and culture
Turkey has long been a gateway between the East and the West. The warmth and hospitality of its people are well known.
Amongst personnel dealing with medical tourists, there exists a deficiency in their English skills.
Medical records and documentation
Some hospitals lack the required knowledge regarding documentation that should be issued to medical tourists.
Traveling to Turkey
All airlines coming from Europe easily access Turkey. A total of more than 300 flights come from various countries and arrive in one of Turkey’s five major airports on a daily basis.
Entry and Exit Requirements to Turkey
In general, a valid passport and a corresponding visa are required for all travelers making their entry to Turkey. Depending on the country of destination, as listed in Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, entry visas can be obtained upon arrival in Turkey. They can also be obtained from the Turkish Consulates located in the country of origin.
In general, citizens of most South American countries do not require a visa to enter Turkey for up to 90 days.
Spanish passport holders are required to obtain an Electronic Visa to enter Turkey.
Specific visa requirements for your country can be found at the Turkish MFA website.
Statistics for Medical Tourism in Turkey
Located in a strategic area that borders Asia and Europe, Turkey is fast becoming a popular destination for medical travelers. Figures show that approximately 270,000 medical tourists arrived in 2012 for various surgical procedures ranging from the cosmetic procedures to treating serious conditions. These numbers would have increased substantially since 2012.
According to Turkey’s Ministry of Health, the country has become the sixth most visited country in the world for medical tourism due to the quality of the doctors, the use of advanced medical equipment and the lower cost in comparison to the U.S. and many European countries.