In the first half of 2020 , medical tourism in Turkey witnessed a significant increase of medical tourists, and the country aims to receive one million medical tourists by the end of this year with an income of $ 3.5 billion from medical tourism.
Turkey has attracted a quarter of a million visitors for medical tourism, as Turkish health care facilities received 264 thousand and 138 visitors for medical tourism in the first 6 months of the year 2019, and the country aims to raise this number to million people by the end of this year 2019.
The Turkish government has shown increasing interest in this type of medical tourism, it is expected that the income of medical tourism in Turkey will reach 3.5 billion $, exceeding the total of 2.5 billion $ that is recorded at the end of the last year 2018, when Turkey attracted 551,748 tourists, coming from more than 120 countries, to avail the most advanced health treatments in Turkey.
In this regard, the director of the Turkish Cultural and Media Attache, Mr. Salih Ozer, said: Turkey has now become one of the major medical tourism centers globally, as it ranked third after the United States and South Korea in this field, and the proof for this is that medical tourism in our cities has increased continuously in The past 10 years, we have invested heavily in the development of the healthcare sector, and we now offer quality treatments at very affordable prices.
Turkish cities such as Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya, Izmir, Yalova, and Adana have received the largest number of visitors for medical tourism, especially from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, in addition to tourists from Germany, Russia, Azerbaijan, and Iraq.
Specialized clinics in ophthalmology, obstetrics, gynecology, oncology, orthopedics, and heart surgery were among the top 10 clinics for medical tourists in Turkey in 2018.
Ozer added: The Gulf people go to health resorts in Turkey to get advanced cosmetic treatments, in addition to having the most beautiful holidays while receiving these treatments.
As medical tourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors in Turkey, the country has witnessed an increase in the number from 75 thousand visitors in 2007 to 700 thousand visitors in 2017.
According to the Ministry of Health, most of the hospitals are equipped with the needed infrastructure for advanced equipment to receive patients from all over the world.
Turkey recently revealed several initiatives aimed to reduce the costs of health care services for visitors from abroad. In 2018, the government announced that it would raise the value-added tax for non-residents who receive medical treatments in institutions approved by the Ministry of Health.
After these initiatives, medical tourism has become one of the most important pillars of the Turkish economy, and it is one of the most important sources of Turkish national income, which has largely depended on the prosperity of medical tourism in Turkey.
Besides, the government has made health care an integral part of the medical tourism development plan in Turkey, to attract 2 million medical tourists to Turkey, and to achieve an income of 10 billion dollars annually by 2023.
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