On The Upswing: Turkey Successfully Relies On Medical Services For Visitors From Germany

Attractive, high-quality offers attract more and more guests and make the country a hotspot for medical tourists

Istanbul/Berlin. 4 July, 2018 - Medical tourism is booming: Every year some 50,000 to 60,000 Germans travel to Turkey for a medical intervention - in 2017 Germany was the 3rd country for medical turism. This makes the sector increasingly important for the country's tourism sector, where it now has a central function. Patients benefit from highly qualified doctors, extensive care and, above all, extremely favorable rates for operations such as eye lasers, hair transplantation or dental treatment.

Turkey has developed into a real hub for medical tourism and is today - alongside the USA and Germany - one of the ten most important destinations with visitors from all over the world, but especially Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Between 2008 and 2013 alone, the number of people travelling to Turkey for medical treatment increased by 390 percent. And the trend is continuing: While in 2013 there were still around 360,000 visitors, by 2017 the number had grown to over 500,000 which resulted in an inflow of more than USD 1 billion in foreign exchange. Overall, medical tourism increased by a further 31 percent from 2016 to 2017. And the current year also gives cause for optimism: nearly 500.000 travelers were already recorded in the first quarter of 2018.

Every year, more than 300,000 compatriots travel abroad for treatment. In recent years, around 20 percent have been attracted to Turkey, one of the preferred treatment destinations for Germans.

Health and good looks: wide range of treatments

Turkey has become particularly popular among visitors for laser vision correction and hair transplantation. There are currently around 500 providers of hair transplants in the country alone, and this segment is regarded as the "locomotive" of the industry in the country. The latest technologies and methods such as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) are used, which leaves no scars.

The focus is also on other services - such as cosmetic and medically indicated dental treatments or plastic surgery. This, too, is one of the particular strengths of Turkish suppliers. From nose corrections to complex and demanding operations, the spectrum of surgeons ranges from the best in the world. The portfolio of spa treatments in the numerous and renowned thermal springs is completed.

Turkish physicians also have a very good reputation in other areas such as cardiology, endocrinology, rheumatology or dermatology. Gynecologists, oncologists and orthopedists are also considered highly trained - and waiting times for treatment are comparatively short.

Highly qualified and certified

The excellent reputation that the specialized clinics in Istanbul in particular have earned is based on a solid foundation. In terms of quality, they are at the international forefront. Often the Turkish doctors are even a little ahead of their German colleagues, since they can concentrate exclusively on their field. Especially those clinics that have Joint Commission International (JCI) certification offer top global standards. Turkey has 46 such clinics, more than any other country except the USA.

Attractive price structure - and German health insurance companies pay

Against this background, the price is a particularly attractive argument. A corresponding intervention can be up to three times cheaper in Turkey - with an intensive and personal service. This extends to special German-speaking supervisors who are involved in every examination.

Among other factors, targeted tax relief and investment incentives from the state support the attractive price structure of medical treatment in Turkey. Clinics and doctors are also increasingly using digital tools to work even more efficiently.

Cross-border healthcare is supported by the EU. The funds pay the same subsidies as for treatment in Germany. Istanbul and its airports can also be reached quickly and easily.

In combination with the other advantages of a stay in Turkey - from the weather to the proverbial hospitality - treatment in one of the country's special clinics is an attractive offer in every respect, which those responsible want to consistently expand in the future.

About Turkey Promotion Group (TPG)

Under the roof of Turkish Exporters' Association, Turkey Promotion Group (TPG) was established in 12th August 2017, to unify all activities to promote Turkey, as well as Turkish products and services among global markets. TPG carries the mission to improve and spread ‘Turkey, Discover the Potential’ concept in global arena; to highlight the economic potential of Turkey, introduce and provide facts and figures about the country and its exported products.