Inbound medical tourism in Turkey is on the rise — the nation’s healthcare facilities have treated 264,138 medical tourists in the first six months of 2019, with the end of year projections estimated at 1 million incoming medical tourists.
This forecast will generate upwards of $3.5 billion in revenues, surpassing the $2.5 billion generated by the end of the previous year, which saw 551,748 tourists travelling into Turkey from over 120 countries to avail healthcare treatments.
“Tourists come to Turkey for a lot more than its sights; medical tourism into our cities has been climbing steadily over the last decade,” noted Salih Ozer, attaché of Culture and Information, Turkey. “We have been investing heavily into the growth of our healthcare sector, and we now offer high-quality treatments at very affordable prices.”
The Turkish cities of Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya, Izmir, Yalova and Adana receive the highest number of medical tourists each year, from GCC nations, including the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, as well as from Germany, Russia. Azerbaijan and Iraq. The top 10 clinics for medical tourists listed services under ophthalmology, obstetrics and gynaecology, oncology, cosmetic surgery, orthopaedics and cardiology as the top treatments in 2018.
"Medical tourists from our GCC neighbours, in particular, come to Turkey to avail cosmetic treatments. They are drawn in by the opportunity to combine these treatments with Turkish holidays," added Ozer.
Medical tourism is one of Turkey’s fastest-growing industries — the nation has seen its influx of medical tourists rise from 75,000 visitors in 2007 to more than 700,000 in 2017. According to the Ministry of Health, most of the hospitals have the necessary infrastructure in place for admitting international patients.
Turkey has also recently unveiled several incentives geared to lower healthcare expenses for overseas visitors. In 2018, the government unveiled VAT exemptions for non-residents undergoing medical treatments in institutions accredited by the Ministry of Health. The government has also made healthcare an integral part of its tourism development plan, with targets set at 2 million medical tourists and $10 billion in revenues annually by 2023. - TradeArabia News Service