Currently recognized as a focused healthcare destination with superior technological advances, Turkey treats thousands of foreign patients from the Middle East and European countries every year. The healthcare system is striving to not only reach excellence regionally but also globally.
Turkish healthcare and medical system
Turkey is a strong competitor in healthcare when compared with other countries such as the US, Germany, and England. The current statistics show Turkey as a low cost health provider compared to these nations.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you needed a heart bypass surgery:
- In the US it would cost around $129,750.00
- In Germany, it would cost $ 17,355.00
- In England, it would be $27,770.00
- In Turkey, a heart bypass surgery would cost you $12,000-15,000.
Don’t think the lower price means a lower level of quality. There are around 60 internationally competitive medical faculties in Turkey, which are training thousands of Turkish and foreign medical students. Almost every major pharmaceutical company such as Pfizer, Glaxo-smith-Kline, Johnson & Johnson are already situated in Turkey alongside regional as well as some local manufacturers.
Turkey provides universal health care under its Universal Health Insurance (Genel Sağlık Sigortası) system. Under this system, all residents registered with the Social Security Institution (SGK) can receive medical treatment free of charge in hospitals contracted to the SGK.
Expats in Turkey tend to seek treatment at private hospitals where they can access superior facilities and well-trained staff who are more likely to speak English. While more expensive than public healthcare, it remains quite affordable. Compared to private hospitals in the UK and most of Eurozone countries, fees will be less than a half. Compared to Brazil, Russia and India (part of the BRICS countries), costs of medical facilities and drugs with the private health sector are again more favourable in Turkey.
Those staying in Turkey long-term or those who suffer from chronic illnesses should consider investing in health insurance. It’s worth noting that the European Health Insurance Card, relating to free medical treatment in EU countries, is not valid in Turkey. So, health insurance is advised if you want to be treated in private facilities. It’s compulsory for all residents who are under 65 and living in Turkey to have either public or private health insurance.
Why Turkey is the preferred choice for Health Tourism?
Turkey was ranked third in medical tourism by the International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ). The geographical and strategic location of Turkey, the quality of registered services, the climate, the fact that it has 1.5 billion people on 3 different continents and a flight distance of 4 hours makes it the shining star of health tourism in the world.
Here are top 6 reasons:
- World-class quality services
- Very competitive pricing
- Customized and variety of services
- Number of accredited health institutions
- Short standby time
- Rich cultural heritage
Health tourism in Turkey attracts visitors from more than 130 countries including Germany, Russia, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Albania, Bulgaria, Libya, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova and Macedonia.
Visitors for health or medical reasons to Turkey (2012-2019)
Foreigners and abroad citizens are preferring Turkey more and more for health or medical reasons. The number of visitors coming to Turkey has doubled since 2012.