ANKARA, Turkey – In recent years Turkey has increased its profile as a destination for medical tourism, becoming the sixth most visited country in the world for that purpose, according to the Ministry of Health.
Tourists from all over the world have increasingly flocked to Turkey for medical procedures, particularly over the last five years. The Ministry of Health hopes to reach the $20 billion mark in medical tourism revenue by 2023, and expects 15-20 percent growth in the sector by the end of the year.
“In recent years the private hospital sector in Turkey has developed. More modern and better quality hospitals have been opened. These improvements will result in more foreign currency flowing towards Turkey,” said Private Hospitals Association Secretary-General Cevat Şengül, speaking to Today’s Zaman. Şengül added that the array of services Turkey is able to offer exceeds other countries, and Turkish specialists have gained prestige because of this.
“The medical tourism sector [in Turkey] has become very competitive due to the high quality of doctors and advanced technology, in addition to prices that are reasonable in comparison to America and European countries,” said Fatih University International Marketing Chief Murat Yaşar. Fatih University Research Hospital receives more than 3,000 patients annually from 115 different countries, and offers services in 13 different languages, according to Yaşar.
Representatives from the Medical Park Hospitals group told Today’s Zaman that it welcomes visitors from 129 countries every year, particularly patients from the Middle East, North Africa, the Turkic republics, the Gulf States and the Balkans.
Prices in private Turkish hospitals tend to be extremely low when compared to their American counterparts, particularly regarding emergency room services. Ever since the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) came to power, the number of private hospitals in Turkey has significantly increased.