The need to travel for medical tourism is as old as humanity. In ancient times people traveled to enjoy a change of air or set out to reach people who had the magical power to “heal”.
Likewise, but with new tools and innovative technologies, even today people continue to travel long distances to meet their health needs. Some move only to fulfill their dreams or to satisfy aesthetic needs, giving themselves the opportunity to feel better and regain their self-esteem.
Traveling to heal
The new form of “medical tourism” that has been growing in recent years is a phenomenon to be analyzed in depth. We are dealing with a phenomenon that affects millions of people every year. All people who have traveled the world exclusively to receive specialized medical treatment.
In developed countries, such as Italy or germany etc, the number of elderly people continues to increase and this means a continuous burden on public accounts. The public health supply can no longer cope with the mass of demands and people are forced to turn to the private sector. The result is the average increase in the prices of certain medical services that are no longer covered by the welfare state and the consequent increase in waiting lines for those who remain covered.
Also considering the period of severe economic crisis, the search for a solution abroad is increasingly frequent, deciding to travel to countries that offer the same type of service at much lower prices, with additional perk of getting a holiday. In fact, the quality of medical services and the technology used are not different from the standards of more developed countries, indeed in some cases it is even higher.
Turkey leader in health tourism
Especially in Turkey, the medical tourism sector, driven by the specialties of hair transplantation, teeth implants and cosmetic surgery, has grown exponentially over the last 5 years.
According to the Turkish Statistics Institute (TURKSTAT), the number of foreigners coming to Turkey for medical tourism increased by 38% in 2019 compared to the previous year. The data is clear and we have no hesitation in saying that Turkey will soon be the world leader in this sector.
In fact, Turkey perfectly meets the requirements of this new emerging market. The reasons are that Turkey, being a candidate country for entry into the European Union, has already adapted to European health standards. Often in many countries hospitals are advertised to attract customers, but then there is a lack of specialized staff within them. In addition to having a large number of state-of-the-art private hospitals and clinics, Turkey also has a large number of internationally trained medical personnel. There are 45 Turkish hospitals accredited by the JCI (25 of which are located in Istanbul), in 2016 these hospitals welcomed more than one million patients from abroad.
Savings and quality
In this panorama therefore, Turkey and in particular Istanbul, are candidates to become one of the favorite destinations of European medical tourism in the coming years. Compared to countries like Romania, Croatia or Hungary it has much more to offer in terms of general tourist attractions (nature, sea and history), the prices are lower, the quantity and quality of the services offered are higher, and the distance by plane is equally small, it can be reached from Italy in a couple of hours.
The prices, given that Turkey is a country that is located outside the euro zone and uses a different and very weak currency such as the Turkish lira, are very affordable. On average, the savings for specialist medical care between Europe (Italy, Spain, Germany, England, etc.) and Turkey is between 60% and 70% approximately.
While having to add some expenses to the total cost of the interventions such as: airfare, transport, room and board in the hotel, translators if necessary, the savings will still be considerable between 40% and 50% when compared with the total costs of an operation aesthetics in a countries like France, Italy or Germany.