Many medical tourists started searching for other destinations for receiving affordable, qualitative healthcare when the cost the healthcare begins to rise in the United States. More than 11 million people left the ‘pricey healthcare’ of the United States in search of other destinations for getting quality healthcare within the budget. This scenario leads to the development of the top 10 medical tourism destinations in the world and they are:
- Costa Rica
- South Korea
What is the perception of medical tourists in selecting their destination?
Well, there are many definitions to define medical tourism like it is a part of a tourist facility/destination to attract by promoting healthcare services along with standard tourist facilities or it is a blend of products and services planned to encourage patients to stay fit and healthy while vacationing and indulging in other forms of recreational activities in a different location far from home. However, there are various factors involved from a medical tourist’s perspective while finalizing the destination for their medical treatment.
Cost: One of the foremost factors which involve treatment cost and travel & other related amenities costs such as accommodation, airfares, visiting tourist attractions, total days of stay and more.
Quality: In the healthcare industry, quality is an integral part. It is further categorized into technical and functional quality. While technical quality is measured on the basis of technicality of treatment such as the types of equipment used or medical diagnosis, whereas functional quality includes the behavior of staff, doctors towards the patient, cleanliness, hospital environment and more. Studies say that patients give more preference to functional quality.
Treatment Types & Availability: Firstly, a patient finds whether the type of treatment he/she is looking for, is available in the home country or not. If it is available, then what is the waiting period and related services served by the medical team and staff. If such treatment type is not available, then he/she starts looking for options outside the home country.
Access to Health Services: Medical tourists prefer destinations with lesser or zero waiting times, easier travel options available to reach the destination along with interconnectivity within the country, access to a required medical treatment is available along with proven medical therapies.
All the above-mentioned factors from a medical tourist’s perspective lead to the selection of medical tourism destinations.
Why medical tourists choose Turkey for medical care?
Medical tourism is one of the growing, profitable businesses worldwide and Turkey is one of the destinations in this competitive race. With the developed medical tourism and numerous treatment options, people across the world get better treatment with fair pricing in Turkey.
Turkey is a fascinating country which is situated at the crossroads of East and West and was once home to the greatest empires. It has always been a great destination for patients and tourists due to its prominent hospitality, picturesque scenic view and now, known for providing world-class healthcare facilities within budget. It offers pocket-friendly treatment and vacation options.
Did you know that in 2012, around 270,000 medical tourists received medical care in Turkey? These patients mostly opted for getting treated in private hospitals.
Patients from across the world receive health care in various medical departments including Oncology, Neurosurgery, Cardiovascular surgery, ENT, Ophthalmology, Neurosurgery, Pediatric department, and Dermatology.
In past years, Turkey has proven itself to provide medical care equivalent to other top-rated countries including India, Thailand, and Malaysia.
According to a survey, the cost of receiving qualitative healthcare in Turkey is 50 to 65 percent lesser as compared to the United States.
If you are looking for a medical destination for treatment, you might find Turkey a good option because of its numerous aspects. Following are the reasons why you should choose Turkey:
Government’s Role and Support in Healthcare: In recent years, the healthcare sector in Turkey has made some advancements in medical facilities, healthcare institutions and medical staff. With public-private partnership under the Ministry of Health, Turkey has set up several health campuses across the country housing integrated facilities including hospitals, medical colleges & universities, R&D centers, hi-tech centers from where medical tourists will benefit. Ankara and Istanbul were the main regions that were highly focused due to its great architecture.
Turkish Culture: With Greece and Bulgaria to its northwest; Georgia to its northeast; Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the south, the Turkish culture is a unique blend of Eastern Mediterranean (West Asian), Central Asian region, Eastern European and Caucasian traditions. Ankara being Turkey’s modern capital and Istanbul as the largest city, Turkey is a country in the Middle East, occupying a unique geographic location – partly in Asia and partly in Europe. It has cultural connections to ancient Greek, Byzantine, Roman, Persian and Ottoman empires. This is the reason Turkish people are respectful towards all cultures and religions. Arabic, English, Russian, French are easily understood by people along with their native language – Turkish. This factor makes people prefer to go to Turkey for their medical treatment.
Healthcare in Turkey: With 50 health institutions in Ankara, Istanbul, Antalya, Bursa and Izmir, health industry has spread its magical wings all over Turkey. There are 50 JCI (Joint International Commission) accredited medical institutes and hospitals in Turkey including Acibadem Hospital, Memorial Antalya Hospital, Medical Park Group in Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, & Ankara, Florence Nightingale Hospital, Medicana Health Group and more. Other than JCI, there are hospitals SAS accredited (Standards of Accreditation in Health) by Turkish Ministry of Health
International Collaboration of Turkish Hospitals: Turkish hospitals are well-equipped offering modern infrastructure. The methodologies and types of equipment used in these hospitals are advanced and amongst the countries offering the best technology for treatments. The best part of Turkish hospitals is a collaboration with international hospitals such as:
Anadolu Medical Center with John Hopkins Medicine International,
Acibadem Hospital with Harvard Medical International,
Memorial Health Group being the first hospital to join the American Hospital Association,
Sisli Florence Nightingale Hospital is certified by TUV Rheinland Germany and the list continues.
The international collaboration of Turkish hospitals has proven to be beneficial for the healthcare industry in Turkey.
Experienced, Qualified Doctors and Surgeons: Healthcare in Turkey varies from region to region. Medical tourists must be relieved with the fact that the country offers cheaper treatment as compared to other countries in Europe because of the availability of public & private hospitals and experienced medical staff. The doctors are highly qualified and have earned training certifications from prestigious institutes around the world. Turkey has a number of medical colleges and universities offering clinical medicine in a variety of medical topics including cardiology, general & internal medicine, general anesthesia, gastroenterology, radiology, ophthalmology and surgery.
According to data from 2017, there were nearly 150 thousand healthcare physicians in Turkey.
Inter and Intra Air Connectivity: With 57 airports including 33 offering both domestic as well as international flights and 13 regional airports across Turkey, Istanbul Ataturk airport is the country’s biggest airport serving the highest number of passengers. Turkish Airlines, Onur Air, Atlas Global, Emirates, and other global airlines offer great connectivity across and out of Turkey.
Turkish Airlines even offers discounted prices to its medical travelers.
Budget-Friendly Treatment Costs: Turkey offers competitive prices of their medical treatments as compared to other western countries in the world. Most surgeries are 90 percent cheaper in Turkey. Lesser or zero waiting times is one of the factors people prefer to go to Turkey for their medical treatment. Turkey has been known for its excellent thermal spa resorts for decades which means medical procedures and services in modern times. Plastic surgery, weight loss surgery, bone marrow transplantation, bariatric surgery, renal dialysis, physiotherapy are some of the treatments Turkey is known for. Although there are other medical procedures for which Turkey is known such as Spinal Fusion, Hair Transplant, Organ Transplantation and more.
Accommodation, Food and Other Basic Amenities: Although most hospitals cover accommodation service in their treatment cost, however, cost of living/stay is comparatively cheaper. Turkey has been a gateway between the East and the West. Therefore, Turkey is well-known for its warm hospitality. Talking about food, Turkey has numerous multi-cuisine restaurants offering cuisines at reasonable prices. Also, the hospitals have cafes and bars offering a variety of eating options. On the other hand, taxis are expensive and it is advisable to negotiate for complimentary pickup and drop from airport to hotels to hospitals.
Turkey’s Medical Tourist Destinations: In 2017, Acibadem hospital alone increases the number of foreign patients served by 20 percent as compared to 2016. This means there was an increase of 28,000 foreign patients and an increase in revenue from these medical tourists by 75 percent. Other than this, most medical tourists prefer to choose Istanbul, Antalya, Ankara, and Izmir for their medical treatment. Antalya is preferably preferred by Russians. This has been possible due to the availability of well-facilitated hospitals supervised by experienced medical practitioners and dedicated nursing staff.
Do you know that 75 percent of medical tourists choose Istanbul for their medical treatment due to a variety of treatment options available over there?
Visa Process for Turkey: Once you have decided to get treated in Turkey, your documents will be sent to you via your chosen healthcare service provider. After cross-checking your documents and if you have no visa ban abroad, you are welcomed to visit Turkey with your medical visa. Your passport must be valid for 90 days before you travel depending on your country of origin. For more visa details, feel free to visit http://www.mfa.gov.tr/default.en.mfa and read instructions as per your home country. The visa cost also varies accordingly such as it is 10£ for UK citizens, $20/€15 for USA and Australia citizens and more. The visa fee costs nothing if you’re from the following countries:
Germany, Andorra, Argentina, Honduras, Iran, Israel, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Morocco, Finland, France, Greece, Guatemala, Belarus, Belize, Albania, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Iceland, Japan, Montenegro, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Colombia, South Korea, Kosovo, Costa Rica, Latvia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Moldova, Monaco, Nicaragua, Uzbekistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, St. Cristopher Nevis, Saint Marino, Seychelles, Serbia, Singapore,Slovakia, Slovenia, Chile, Tajikistan, Thailand, Trinidad Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uruguay, Jordan, Vatican, Venezuela, New Zealand.
Turkey on Becoming a Key Player in Medical Treatment!
Turkey has been holding a strong position in terms of medical tourism for decades now. Due to its geographic location and welcoming culture, people have started opting for Turkey as a good option for getting treated. Other reasons why people choose medical tourism in Turkey are:
More than 50 JCI (Joint International Commission) accredited medical institutes and hospitals.
Budget-friendly medical treatment as compared to other countries such as the UK, Malaysia, and Thailand.
A shorter span of waiting time for various medical procedures including organ transplantation.
Counted under one of the top 10 medical destinations in the world.
Provides healthcare facilities in various medical specialties including Oncology, Cardiology, Neurology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, and more.
According to Turkey’s Ministry of Health, Turkey has become the world’s tenth most visited country for medical treatment because of experienced doctors, surgeons & specialists, well-equipped hospitals with modern infrastructure and lower cost of treatment with zero waiting times as compared to the United States and other European countries.