The Turkish health ministry has launched a hotline that will break the language barrier for tourists seeking medical treatment, using a teleconference system that will allow patients to speak to doctors through translators over the phone.
Tourist calls are dispatched directly to a doctor, with a translator teleconferenced in for assistance. If the tourist is already at a hospital, a translator can be reached too. Translators speaking English, German, Arabic and Russian are on stand-by 24/7 to help foreigners communicate with doctors. Dursun Aydın from the Ministry of Health says,” This is a first in the world. The global practice is to bring in a translator.”
International accreditation agency Temos has agreed a contract with the Ministry of Health. The aim of this project is the development of a guideline to determine, define and standardize the non-medical services and processes of the international patients’ care cycle to be fulfilled by Turkish public hospitals.
The biggest spa and wellness centre in the country is being built, mainly for overseas visitors. Cam Thermal Resort and Spa Hotel is being built by Ogulturk Group in the Soğuksu National Park. The 5-star thermal hotel is currently under construction, and planning to open in September 2013.It will include swimming pools and thermal pools with sauna, Finnish bath, Jacuzzi, and fitness areas. Orhan explains, “Health tourism has become one of the most important aspects of tourism in recent years in Turkey. According to the Turkish statistics from the last five years, the number of travelers that visit us for health purposes is rapidly increasing. They come from the Middle East, the Balkans, Central Asia, Africa, Europe and even from America. ” The hotel will have fully equipped rooms for medical therapy, physical therapy and a rehabilitation center with doctors and specialists.