An interesting article recently revealed how many visitors are coming to Turkey for healthcare. It is absolutely true that private medical healthcare in Turkey is first rate. Anyone can make an appointment at a hospital and be given an appointment the next day or so, you receive a check up and asked exactly what your health problem is. After an examination, a battery of tests are taken on the same day and a print out in English is given to you to take back to your doctor.
The article by the Association of Health Strategies and Social Policies (SASOMER) reported that foreign visitors to Turkey for Healthcare spend almost 10 times more than those who visit for a holiday. “Turkey has been trying to capitalize on its health tourism potential and around 1.1 million people visit Turkey for this purpose” SASOMER Chair Turan Buzgan said.
The health tourism sector consists of three subgroups “medical tourism,” “tourism for the senior and handicapped,” and “thermal tourism,” Buzgan said. He highlighted that Turkey is open to improvement in these particular areas. He specified that visitors who come for health tourism spend less money but get better quality health services in Turkey compared to other countries. According to the information provided by the SASOMER chair, Turkey obtains revenue of $2.3-3 billion from health tourism and the country is predicted to raise this figure to around $5 billion by 2020.
In the UK patients can wait months for these tests and sometimes these tests need carrying out ASAP. Around 18 months ago a friend of mine came to Turkey because she had been to her local GP in the UK and was fobbed off with a diagnosis without any tests, she knew there was something wrong and felt distressed enough to seek medical advice in Turkey. She paid in the region of £400 and spent the day in hospital having the tests she should have had in the UK. She did receive an answer the same day and got the correct diagnosis, although not wonderful news she felt better in herself as she knew what was finally wrong with her.
Many women come to Turkey and book an appointment for a smear, why? It costs around £20 and the results are with you in around 3 days, some have a full woman’s health check up which is a consultation, smear and mammogram, the cost around £50. The National Health Service in the UK does a wonderful job but they are overstretched and it seems the waiting list is growing by the day.
Cosmetic surgery is very popular now in Turkey and is a fraction of the cost in other countries and the after care is second to none. Dental care has been prolific for many years now with foreigners having dental work during their holidays. Hair transplants for men are also on the rise with I believe men paying just a third of the cost in the UK, Izmir especially is popular for this procedure.