American’s tend to think of Asia and Latin America when it comes to medical tourism. They would likely be surprised to find that one of the top tourism destinations is Turkey. Each year an estimated 150,000 – 200,000 medical tourists seek treatment there, making it the 7th most popular destination for health tourists.
Turkey is so popular because it boasts high quality care. No other foreign country has as many JCI-accredited hospitals (an American accreditation system). Among the 43 hospitals are 22 in Istanbul alone and the Anadolu Medical Center in Istanbul was earned the #7 spot on the list of Best Hospitals for Medical Tourists. The Dunya Goz World Eye Centers, also in Istanbul, is part of a top international healthcare company that has clinics in Asia as well as Europe.
In addition to the superior health facilities, Turkey offers great savings to medical patients. Travelers can expect to pay 30-50% less than they would in the United States. The average American can save $28,000 on a single procedure while some patients have reported saved as much as $100,000 on surgery in Turkey.
Tourists are draw to Turkey because of it’s proximity to not only Europe and the Middle East, but to North America as well. It offers shorter flights and less expensive travel that some Asia destinations with equal or lower medical costs. Toss in the natural beauty, culture and historical appeal of Turkey, and it is easy to understand why it continues to grow as a healthcare destination.
Healthcare Available in Turkey
There are a large-number of American and European trained doctors practicing in Turkey in a wide range of specialties. In addition to general medical and surgical services, hospitals and clinics provide dental services, cosmetic surgery, LASIK and other eye surgeries, fertility treatments, and wellness/spa treatments.
Some popular treatments include the following:
- Cardiac Bypass
- Knee Replacement
- Cochlear Implant
- Bone Marrow Transplant
- Disc Replacement
- Breast Augmentation and Breast Lift
- Hip Replacement
- Heart Valve Replacement
- Kidney Removal
Top Destinations in Turkey
Istanbul is by far the most popular destination. It’s historical roots reach back to the empires of Ottoman, Rome, and Byzantine while it’s location offers access to the Sea of Marmara, the Black Sea, the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus strait. The beautiful coastline, magnificent and ancient architecture and cultural and religious attractions are supplemented by more than 100 private hospitals, over 50 public hospitals, and five University hospitals as well as some of the top eye clinics and dental treatment centers in the world.
Ankara, the capital city, is home to over seventy hospitals, including seven that are JCI-accredited. It is a center of both international diplomacy and education. In some places it feels like a university town while other parts have a modern, urban feel. There are many historic temples, mosques, museums and even Roman baths and a castle to tour. The city includes three separate thermal springs which international patients seek out for healing and rejuvenation.
Izmir also boasts thermal springs and nearly 30 hospitals, including three JCI facilities. It also has Aegean beaches and sea views for quiet recuperation and was once a popular destination in the Roman Empire known as Efes.
Kocaeli, Bursa, and Adana each have three JCI hospitals as well as dozens of other medical facilities. Kocaeli offers warm summers and skiing as well as thermal and drinking springs. Bursa has the Uludag mountains and the shores of the Marmara Sea in addition to springs.Adana has thermal springs and gorgeous mountains.
Other popular destinations include Afyonkarahisar, Kayseri, Yalova, Kutahya, Samsun, and Gaziantep.