Health Tourkiye


Medical tourism is when patients who want to undergo a treatment or have an aesthetic operation go to a different country and evaluate treatment options. People choose other countries because health services are not developed or are expensive in their home countries. Medical tourism is preferred in many areas such as dental, eye, aesthetic, cardiovascular, joint and assisted reproductive techniques.


Turkey is among the most popular countries in the world in medical tourism. Advanced devices, state-of-the-art operating rooms, successful surgeons and affordable prices make our country a center of attraction in medical tourism. Within the scope of medical tourism, thermal tourism or elderly and disabled tourism, the rate of those who benefit from health services in another country is quite high.


What is Medical Tourism?


Medical tourism is a type of health tourism that includes all medical physiological treatments. This includes all medical therapies from the treatment of systemic diseases to dermatology, from plastic surgery to hair transplantation. Medical tourism is known as the most active type of health tourism in the world and this is also the case in our country. Since medical tourism covers almost every disease, we know that some agencies make segmentation. For example, some medical tourism agencies work only with hair transplant patients, while others serve plastic surgery patients. High-capacity health tourism agencies, on the other hand, have infrastructures developed to provide services for many different types of diseases and in many different countries. These agencies can provide health tourism services to every patient and almost every country. Of course, for this, the agency must be accredited.


Reasons for Medical Tourism


There are different reasons for patients to travel for treatment. In medical tourism, there are medical issues such as dental, eye, aesthetic, cardiovascular and joint prostheses, infertility treatment, in vitro fertilization.


The number of patients who do medical tourism for simple tests or for control and examination for a disease is quite high. We can list the general reasons that cause patients to do this tourism as follows:


  • The most important reason is that there are few or no high-tech health services and specialists in the country of origin.
  • Long waiting times for surgeries and procedures are also very important. In some cases, patients are given very long time intervals for the procedure. Patients resort to medical tourism when they want to eliminate this situation or when they do not want to wait for the given time.
  • Health services are quite expensive in some countries and it is possible to get the same service cheaper in other countries. In such cases, patients turn to medical tourism.
  • The desire to receive quality health services is also among the important reasons for medical tourism.
  • Finally, it is observed that patients turn to medical tourism because they do not want the operation they have undergone to spread in their countries.
  • There are many different reasons to use medical tourism. The main reason is that patients want to eliminate their health problems in a different country with better facilities and want to handle this treatment process in the most profitable way.


Health Tourism Data


  • In 2019, 701,046 patients received health services in Turkey within the scope of health tourism and health tourism. Tourism revenue from foreign visitors and citizens residing abroad who came for health and medical reasons amounted to USD 1,492,438 thousand in 2019.
  • In 2020, there was a noticeable decrease in the number of health tourists due to the global pandemic. 407,423 patients preferred Turkey to receive health services. Tourism revenues from foreign visitors coming for health tourism and medical reasons and from citizens residing abroad decreased to 1,164,779 thousand dollars in 2020.
  • In 2021, a total of 670,730 people received health services and the revenue generated from these services amounted to USD 1,726,973 thousand.
  • In 2022, a total of 1,258,382 people came to Turkey to receive health services and the revenue generated from these services amounted to USD 2,119,059 thousand.
  • In 2023, a total of 1,398,504 people came to Turkey to receive healthcare services and the revenue generated from these visits amounted to USD 2,307,130 thousand.
  • The clinical branches most preferred by international patients are gynecology, internal medicine, ophthalmology, medical biochemistry, general surgery, dentistry, orthopedics and traumatology, infectious diseases and ear-nose-throat, respectively.


Istanbul has a significant potential in terms of technology, infrastructure and personnel. Its historical and natural texture, geographical location and cultural assets also make Istanbul an attractive destination for medical tourism. Most of the hospitals providing services in the field of health tourism in Turkey are located in Istanbul. As a center for medical tourism, Istanbul is making significant progress in health tourism with the cooperation of the accommodation sector, insurance sector, communication sector and other stakeholder sectors (Istanbul Development Agency - ISTKA).

Antalya, which is adorned with natural and historical beauties, stands out as a city that offers favorable conditions for the accommodation of the sick, elderly and disabled, especially during the low season, thanks to its geographical location, four-season mild climate and ease of transportation. In this respect, our province has a very important place in health tourism as well as in alternative tourism types such as winter tourism, sports tourism, congress and fair tourism. Especially in recent years, Antalya has made significant progress in the field of health tourism with its accommodation facilities with high bed and service capacity, health institutions with advanced infrastructure and equipment, well-trained, foreign-language-speaking specialist doctors and health personnel, and qualified and at the same time less costly service understanding compared to other countries (Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism).

İzmir has always had a significant potential for medical tourism and thermal tourism since prehistoric times. In ancient times, Pergamon-Asklepion was the leading health center of Anatolia. In Asclepion, one of the three major health centers dedicated to Asclepius, the God of Health of Bergama, there is a column depicting a double snake, the symbol of medicine. Galenos, called the father of pharmacology, treated his patients in the Asclepion of Pergamon. The famous Asclepion Health Center of the ancient period is known as the place where scientific studies on human health, medical interventions were carried out and the starting point of pharmacy (Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism).

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