According to the Association of Health Strategies and Social Policies (SASOMER), healthcare tourism visitors to Turkey spend almost 10 times more than those who come for holidays.
SASOMER Chairman Turan Buzgan stated that ‘around 1.1 million health tourists visited Turkey in 2016 and that the sector continues to try to capitalize on the opportunities for expansion in this sector’.
Buzgan revealed that whilst health visitors may spend less money than if they had travelled to other countries, overall spending is still significantly higher than that in the general tourism sector – he cited an extensive medical curriculum, good qualified personnel and short waiting lists as the main reasons that health tourists are choosing Turkey for their treatments and procedures.
The global health tourism business is currently worth around a $300 billion, with expectations that this will increase to $500 billion in the next three to four years and $1 trillion after 2023.
According to the information provided by SASOMER, health tourism in Turkey generates revenues of between $2.3-3 billion per annum – a target of $5 billion per year has been set before the end of 2020.
Medical tourism specialities in Turkey include eye disease, oncology, neurosurgery, orthopaedics, oncotherapy, cosmetic surgery and physiotherapy.
Turkey is now well established as a hub for hair transplant and physiotherapy services, welcoming patients from almost 60 countries. Compared to the U.S. and U.K., where hair transplant procedures can cost up to $25.000, the cost in Turkey would be around TL 5,000 (currently around $1.400!).
Turkey is also fast becoming a leading destination for eye surgery. The country is the No. 1 number one choice of patients around the world for those seeking surgery for cataracts or macular degeneration. Thermal tourism is also increasingly popular, particularly with tourists from Arab countries. Thermal springs are well known for their healing properties, particularly in respect of skin disorders, depression, gastro-intestinal disease, respiratory disorders and rheumatism. There are currently 1300 thermal springs throughout Turkey and 17 thermal spa resorts, the most famous of which is Pamukkale located in the Denizli province.