Sabah – As a regional healthcare hub with top of the range facilities and internationally accredited hospitals, Turkey is experiencing a flock of foreign nationals seeking affordable treatment options for a wide range of medical disorders.
The inflow of foreign patients heading to Turkey for treatment has increased 3 fold over the past 4 years. The number reached 250,000 in 2012 from 74,000 in 2008, earning Turkey a place among the top ten medical tourism destinations.
Turkey is running a multi-pronged health tourism strategy to attract more foreign visitors, including medical, spa and healthcare for elderly and disabled people. Foreigners are also seeking medical care in dentistry, optometry, orthopedics, plastic surgery and many other branches and there are those who prefer alternative methods of treatment such as the 1,600 thermal springs in the country known for their healing and revitalizing effects.
Statistics show that patients from Germany, Russia, Azerbaijan, the Netherlands, Iraq and France top the list of healthcare tourists visiting Turkey. Ukrainians, Belgians, Kazakhs, Romanians and Libyans follow with lesser numbers.
Planning to introduce tax-free healthcare zones specifically tailored for foreign patients, Turkey’s Ministry of Health intends to increase of medical tourists to 500,000 by 2015 and 2 million by 2023.