Within just over a decade, Turkey has seen a fast increase in the amount of people visiting for medical purposes. Whether it be for health or cosmetic reasons, low costs and a high quality health care system makes it a very popular medical tourism destination. Recently, the Turkish Ministry of Health introduced a regulatory regime to ensure the already world-class standards of Turkish healthcare is further improved upon.
What does the regime include?
All health facilities are now required to have a manager for every health tourism unit. The manager must be a qualified doctor who has been practicing medicine in Turkey for a minimum of five years. Proficiency in a foreign language is also mandatory and the manager must have at least two English speaking employees within their team.
Pricing is now regulated by the Turkish Health Ministry. Health facilities are obliged to comply with the health tourism price determined by the Ministry. It is also stated that invoices and receipts clearly outlining what procedure(s) are being paid for, must be given to all patients.
Advertisement of health tourism companies as well as the procedures themselves, now have to be approved by third party organisations. This will prevent biased endorsements and ensure clear, accurate information is being given to potential patients.
How will tourists be affected?
Turkey’s new rules can only be a positive thing for future tourists wanting to receive medical treatment. The regime makes high healthcare standards obligatory by law, which gives patients support should they be mistreated in anyway. It also ensures those who are unfamiliar with pricing for medical procedures in Turkey can be sure they will not be taken advantage of financially, even as first time patients. With a team of fully qualified professionals who can speak English, the likelihood of miscommunication is rare.
What does the regime mean for Turkey?
Turkey is considered to have one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Around 10 years ago, the government recognised the potential in medical tourism and started to invest time and money into making improvements. This saw an influx of people flying to places like Istanbul and Izmir to be treated. The improvements meant medical tourism in Turkey now creates a revenue of $837 million a year on average. It is clear that by raising standards even further, the country will continue to climb up the ranks for best medical facilities in the world and improve its economy further.