The annual revenue for medical tourism to Turkey is expected to reach US$5 billion in 5 years (according to Government figures), as the country’s modern hospitals attract more foreign patients who are seeking affordable treatment.
Turkish healthcare services group Medical Park
is preparing to open three new hospitals in Turkey’s three largest cities, Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, especially to serve foreign patients. Muharrem Usta, of Medical Park says, “Many patients from the Middle East, the Balkans and Europe choose Turkish healthcare facilities for treatment. We get patients from the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Russia, and some African countries. We aim to attract people from more countries. The government’s aim to earn US$5 billion from providing medical services to foreigners is achievable.”
Medical Park is targeting revenue of US$40 million from health tourism this year and hopes to increase the amount to US$ 500 million in five years. It aims to have a 10 % share in the country’s health tourism industry. It has already been welcoming foreign patients for cardiovascular treatment, transplants, bone marrow transplants, cosmetic surgery and hair transplants.
One of the leading private hospital groups with its 17 hospitals, Medical Group aims to expand with new hospital investments in Sacrament, a luxury site in Istanbul’s Beykoz neighborhood, Ulus neighborhood and Aegean province of İzmir.
According to a report issued by the health subcommittee of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) in 2009, A person arriving in Turkey for health tourism spends 12 times more than a regular tourist. The organization estimates that 40,000 tourists go to Turkey for health tourism each year. The association’s target of one million foreign patients by 2020 is ambitious and less believable. It also says that Turkey’s health tourism accounts for over a third of revenue, but not of numbers.
Turkey is a growing health tourism destination thanks to its close location to European countries, many private hospitals and clinics with state-of-the-art technology and qualified medical and service personnel. There are also hot springs that serve to treat or cure many ailments.
Turkey currently ranks seventh among countries with the largest thermal resources with 1600 springs and is set to become the top thermal holiday destination in the region with a number of new projects. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is planning to add tens of thousands of new beds to attract European visitors over the coming years. Afyon was declared Turkey’s thermal capital three years ago by the government. 5% of visitors to Afyon’s thermal hotels are of Turkish origin from Germany, the Netherlands and France.
Alila Wellness Park
in Afyon is going to be Europe’s largest thermal facility with a 2000 bed capacity when completed in 2013. It will include one residence project along with two 5-star hotels, a massive convention center and a separate spa.