More and more people are turning to medical tourism to receive affordable care and enjoy a recovery period away from their home country. Arab tourists looking for quality medical care have been flocking to Turkey this year. TurkStat, the Turkish Statistical Institute, recently revealed that the number of medical tourists increased by 17.6 percent between the period from January to September, as compared to the same time last year.
That is a total 235,245 foreign visitors who drive up the sector’s revenue by 16.5% hitting US$596 million, as compared to US$512 million and US$452 million during the same period in 2016 and 2015 respectively.
Medical tourism is showing real signs of rapid development and growth. According to the Turkish Healthcare Travel Council (THTC), as many as 100,000 medical tourists arrived in Turkey, with more than two-thirds arriving from the UAE.
As opposed to medical tourists from Europe, the USA and Russia who are primarily looking for a better deal on medical procedure prices, Arab medical tourists are more interested in the quality of healthcare provided by Turkish medical institutions.
Information from the Turkish Travel Agencies Association (TÜRSAB) shows that demand is growing for Turkish medical tourism as the county’s hospitals get achieving international accreditation from Joint Commission International (JCI), a US-based accreditation institution, as well as partnerships with renowned organizations such as Harvard Medical Center and Johns Hopkins, among others.
It is estimated that 30% of the visitors from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are estimated to be medical tourists, including people considering complex medical procedures and those looking for simpler aesthetic procedures such as hair transplants, eye, and cosmetic surgery.
Patients from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the UAE, Jordan, and Lebanon, have a great interest in hair transplantation and eye surgery and treatments, such as Lasik surgery and lens replacements, which are very popular in Istanbul and Kusadasi.
Turkey’s environment, pleasant climate, and modern transportation infrastructure have made the country popular with Europeans and Americans, who travel Turkey for its affordability. Tourists from Russia and the Middle East prefer Turkey for its high-level of medical care quality.
Many of Turkey’s doctors have been educated and trained in the USA, and Western Europe specialized in cardiac care, cancer treatments, and orthopedic care. Istanbul, Ankara, and Antalya are becoming more and more renowned for quality and affordable medical hospitals and clinics.
Subscribe to our monthly newsletter
Keep a pulse on the latest business news in the Middle East. Subscribe now.