Posted on 14 February 2011
Sun, beaches and laser eye surgery in Turkey
The cost of receiving medical care may still be very high for the Turkish citizens; however the prices are still low enough to lure foreign patients. In 2007, the number of foreign patients in Turkey was 150,000. Last year, the number of foreigners treated in Turkey increased by 40 percent to total 200,000. Foreigners prefer Turkey not just for lower medical costs, but also for vacation opportunities available following recovery.
The global economic crisis played a major role in the increasing figure, said Dr. Dursun Aydin, President of the Association of Improving Health Tourism. “Europeans prefer Turkey mostly for plastic surgery, in vitro fertilization, dental treatment and laser eye surgery. The technology used in Turkey is just as developed as the European technology and our doctors are also very successful” Aydin added.
Turkey mostly receives patients from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Belgium and France, Aydin stated. There has also been an increase in the number of the Middle Eastern patients, who have begun to prefer Turkey to Europe, Aydin said.
If Turkey’s potential in the health industry is publicized efficiently, then the income obtained from the country’s health tourism may reach USD 10 billion within the next three to five years. Currently, Turkey’s health market has a volume of USD 500 million.
Medical care packages provided for foreigners usually cover accommodation and vacation costs, said Dr. Resat Bahat, Chairman of the Association of Private Hospitals and Health Organizations. “The hospitals provide foreign patients an opportunity to tour the city where they are receiving treatment. They get treated, rest and have fun, all as part of the package deal. That is what they find attractive” Bahat said.
Hurriyet Daily News – 11 February 2009