Health Tourism in Turkey
Discover the potential!
Turkey offers natural beauty, unforgettable experiences and warm hospitality making every tourist feel like they are home on two continents.
Why Turkey for Medical Treatment?
Until 2016, Turkey continued to assert its dominance as a major medical tourism destination in West Asia. A record of 360,000 foreign patients visited the country in 2014 and 308,000 the year before. Turkey provides high-quality facilities for medical and wellness services and has become a choice destination for medical tourists coming from the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and the Balkans. Turkey offers less expensive treatments, 40% to 50%, than its primary regional competitors Germany and the United Arab Emirates.
The growth of medical tourism in Turkey was on a fast path until several events in 2015/16 that seriously hit the industry. Strained diplomatic relations with Israel and the 2015 Russian Sukhoi Su-24 shoot-down took their toll. A campaign of diplomatic rapprochement with Israel and Russia was launched to help boost weak tourist numbers, but the terrorist attack at Istanbul’s busy Ataturk Airport and the subsequent failed military coup were devastating setbacks.
Turkey's Healthcare System
In preparation for joining the European Union, Turkey’s government and private healthcare institutions are conducting strict implementation of the highest quality, advanced technology, and medical standards. The Ministry of Health, along with an Independent Turkish Medical Association determine the local standards and guidelines that are followed by hospitals, healthcare facilities, and medical practitioners.
The Turkish Ministry of Health owns nearly 55% of Turkey's more than 1200 hospitals. The remainder is owned by universities, private companies, and foreign entities. Many hospitals have local and international accreditation including the Joint Commission International (JCI), the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JACHO), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and affiliations with Western medical groups and facilities.
Most hospitals in Turkey have some English-speaking doctors and medical staff and are certified by the Turkish Medical Association. Many are members of specific medical fields’ organizations, including the Turkish Society of Cardiovascular Surgery, Turkish Gynecologist & Obstetric Association, Turkish Orthopedic, and Traumatology Association, Turkish Dental Association, Turkish Plastic Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery Society, and others.
Hospitals for Medical Tourism in Turkey
Turkey has more than 47 Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited medical facilities. Some hospitals are affiliated with the best US medical providers such as the Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and others. Hospitals catering to the medical tourist in Turkey have implemented the latest medical technologies and employ board-certified staff, with over 35% of physicians trained in the Western countries.
Available Medical Services in Turkey
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:
- Cosmetic and Plastic surgery
- Fertility and Sterility
- General and Aesthetic Dentistry
- Obesity and Bariatric Surgery
- Renal Dialysis
Rich in culture, traditions, extraordinary hospitality, natural beauty, and historical heritage, Turkey serves as a bridge between Asia and Europe. Located on Anatolian peninsula, Turkey has hosted numerous civilizations, as attested by the 13 World Heritage Sites and countless religious sites found there. Established in 1923 from the Ottoman Empire remnants, modern Turkey displays a storied history spanning many centuries and bringing together vastly different cultures. Inhabited since the Paleolithic age, this land provided a home for the Aeolian and Ionian Greeks, Thracians, and Persians.
Turkey’s vibrant culture, famous food, coffee, and vast history excite all who venture there. Yet, its glorious landscapes, from the sun-soaked Mediterranean to the expansive mountains and arid prairie land, are highlights in themselves. Adventure-seekers have plenty to do here, including mountain climbing, scuba diving, rafting, and skiing. Whether you want to admire the Byzantine and Ottoman splendors of Istanbul, kick-back on the beach, or delve into history wandering through ruins such as Ephesus, this country has attractions galore.
Renowned as one of the most beautiful and significant architectural achievements in the world, it is a masterpiece of Roman engineering. The spellbinding Byzantine glory of the Aya Sofya Museum (Hagia Sophia) is most noted for its 6th-century dome and well-preserved mosaics, containing some 30 million gold tiles.
Constructed in the 10th century BCE by Attic and Ionian Greek colonists, the mighty ruin of Ephesus is a city of colossal monuments and marble-columned roads. The Library of Celsus was built around 125 AD to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as a tomb for Celsus, the governor of Asia. Ephesus conveys a feeling of life as it was during the golden age of the Roman Empire.
Formed by wind and water, the weird and wonderful natural rock formations of Cappadocia are every photographer's dream.
The Topkapı Palace takes you into the opulent world of the sultans and an empire that extended into Europe, through the Middle East, and into Africa. Inside, the decadently exuberant tiling and lavish jeweled decor are a glimpse into the Ottoman's power base.
Built in 155 AD during the rule of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the Aspendos Theater boasts one of the best preserved ancient theaters of antiquity.
Patara is a long stretch of sandy beach on the Mediterranean Sea. Swooping dunes with nothing but a small café, it is also the breeding ground of the endangered Loggerhead turtle.
Pamukkale, or “cotton castle” in Turkish, is famous for the white terraces, made of travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by water with a very high mineral content from the hot springs. For thousands of years, people have bathed in its pools.
Safety in Turkey
The primary safety concern for tourists traveling to Turkey, especially to Istanbul, Ankara, and other cities is terrorism. Most significant events of 2016 were bomb attacks, unrest in the southeast of the country and a violent coup attempt, followed by mass arrests. In June, suspected Islamic State (ISIS) militants killed 45 and injured many more in an attack on Istanbul’s main Atatürk airport. The last major attack, by a soldier of the Islamic State, targeted a nightclub in Istanbul in the early hours of New Year's Day, 2017.
Tourist should always be vigilant, particularly in the cities. Avoid all demonstrations and leave the area if one develops. The police may not be much help. Their English is poor and the department has suffered from corruption and bribery.
Turkey Quick Facts
- Capital: Ankara
- Population: 74.93 million
- Major infectious diseases: cholera, malaria, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, dengue fever, filariasis, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, toxoplasmosis, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, amebiasis, and diphtheria.
- Degree of risk: high risk of terrorist attacks
- Passport validity: Six months beyond date of entry
- Mandatory Vaccinations: required: none; recommended: routine immunizations: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, rabies, and malaria.
- Currency: Turkish lira
- Currency restrictions for entry: none; exit: 25,000 Turkish lira or 10,000 euros (or equivalent)
- Emergency Telephone Numbers:
- Medical emergency / Ambulance: 112
- Police: 155
- Fire: 110
- Coastguard: 158
- Missing child / Women's helpline: 183
Hospitals, Clinics and Medical Travel Agencies for Turkey
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