World Bulletin/News Desk
The number of foreigners choosing to head to Turkey for health tourism has been increasing in the past four years, and last year some 250,000 foreigners from 107 countries came to Turkey for medical treatment.
In the last four years, the number of foreigners receiving medical treatment in Turkey has tripled. According to a recently released 2012 health tourism report drafted by the department of health tourism of the Ministry of Health, while 74,000 foreign patients came to Turkey in 2008, this figure increased to 91,000 in 2009, 109,000 in 2010 and 156,000 in 2011.
As a result of investments in health tourism in Turkey, the number was even higher last year. The report suggests that Turkey is one of the top 10 destinations for health tourism in the world.
Foreigners generally seek eye treatment, hair transplants, dental operations, aesthetic operations, orthopedic treatment, cervical herniated discs and slipped disk treatment and gynecological and urological operations as well as treatments at ear, nose and throat clinics.
Germany, Russia, Azerbaijan, the Netherlands, Iraq and France top the list of the countries whose citizens visit Turkey for health tourism. In addition, a significant number of visitors come from Ukraine, Belgium, Kazakhstan, Romania, Libya, Georgia and the UK.
While 91 percent of the visitors received treatment at private hospitals of Turkey, the remaining 9 percent received treatment at public hospitals.
The Ministry of Health aims to make $7 billion in revenue from 500,000 foreign patients in 2015, while it has its sights set on reaching $20 billion in 2023 from 2 million foreign patients.
The ministry is expected to reveal new regulations governing health tourism in the country by the end of 2013. The ministry also expects that the share of public hospitals in attracting foreign patients will increase to 10 percent in the years to come.
The top 10 public hospitals that receive the greatest number of foreign nationals for medical treatment are Taksim Training and Research Hospital, Haseki Training and Research Hospital, Atatürk Training and Research Hospital, Büyükçekmece State Hospital, Şişli Etfal Hospital, Ulucanlar Training and Research Eye Hospital, Kartal Lütfi Kırdar Training and Research Hospital, Yedikule Chest Diseases and Thoracic Surgery Training and Research Hospital, Karadeniz Technical University Hospital and İstanbul Training and Research Hospital.
The 10 top-choice private hospitals include several Medical Park hospitals, Anadolu Medical Center, Hospitalium Çamlıca, Dünya Göz Ataköy, Bayındır Hospital, Acıbadem Fulya and İstanbul International.
The top five destinations for foreign patients are İstanbul, Kocaeli, Ankara, Antalya and Muğla.
The Health Ministry offers a round-the-clock service for foreign patients in four languages: English, Arabic, Russian and German. T
ourists can call 112 in an emergency and 184 to receive information about health services they can access or to file complaints. Twenty-one people work in shifts in the call center.
The two hotlines receive 700 calls on average every month. The ministry aims to deliver a service in Farsi and French by the end of this year.Last Mod: 23 Nisan 2013, 09:40