Medical tourism to Turkey from Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) significantly increased since the beginning of 2018 as Turkey’s international reputation as a high-quality medical services provider to global patients, it was revealed. Over the years Turkey has established a reputation and developed the necessary infrastructure required to become a leading global player in the healthcare services industry. The country’s close cultural and religious ties with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have therefore made Turkey especially attractive for Arabic-speaking patients.
Moreover, concerning cost efficiency, Turkey provides better quality treatment when compared to its European and American counterparts. Some surgeries cost as much as 90 per cent less than other countries. With favorable exchange rates for dollar-backed currencies such as those in the GCC, medical tourism hit all-time highs in August this year, especially from the UAE, Kuwait, and Bahrain.
“We expect over 850,000 international medical patients to arrive in Turkey by the end of 2018 and expect that number to increase again to reach over 1 million patients by the end of 2019,” said Salih Ozer, Attaché of Culture and Information from Turkey to the UAE.
Medical and healthcare tourists were mostly admitted to ophthalmology, gynaecology and obstetrics clinics and most preferred private practice hospitals. Patients from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the UAE, Jordan, and Lebanon, have a great interest in hair transplantation and eye surgery and treatments, such as Lasik surgery and lens replacements.
Many of Turkey’s doctors have been educated and trained in the USA, and Western Europe specialized in cardiac care, cancer treatments, and orthopaedic care. The major cities of Istanbul, Ankara, and Antalya are becoming more and more renowned for quality and affordable medical hospitals and clinics.