A city of healthcare excellence: Istanbul

Istanbul is one of the most diverse cities in the world, a city that has it all – fine dining, historic buildings and architecture, tourism – a city balanced gracefully between traditions of old and the innovations of today. What Istanbul and Turkey are not as well known for is their reputation around the world as a center of excellence for healthcare and being one of the top worldwide destinations for affordable medical and dental care.

It is estimated 200,000 patients travel from other countries each year to Turkey for health checkups, orthopedics, cosmetic and plastic surgery, dental care, eye care and heart care, plus many other types of healthcare and surgery. Patients travel from as far as the United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium, Azerbaijan, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Kosovo, the Middle East and some other areas in Europe.

Some of the patients traveling to Turkey are traveling because Turkey has a higher level of quality than in their own home country. Others travel to Turkey for more affordable healthcare. For example, many Americans travel to Turkey because they can receive a savings of up to 76 percent each year.  In a recent survey conducted by the Medical Tourism Association*,


the ever popular heart bypass in the United States costs on average $130,000 while in Turkey, this procedure averages $13,000, a significant savings for the out of pocket cash paying patient and insurance companies alike.

Turkey also offers a rich array of non-medical activities for medical tourists. When patients travel for medical care, over 80 percent of patients bring a companion with them, such as a spouse, loved one or family member. Typically patients and their companions spend two to three weeks in the foreign country. Over 95 percent of patients and companions recently surveyed by the Medical Tourism Magazine said they engaged in tourism activities. Istanbul provides many options for patients and their companions.  Patients and their companions can visit Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, The Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar. 

The Joint Commission International (JCI) is considered one of the best accreditation agencies in the world for quality. Turkey has the largest number of JCI accredited hospitals in the world. The quality is so high that U.S. health insurance carriers are now starting to contract with Turkish hospitals in order to allow Americans the choice to get their major surgeries done either in the U.S. or  in Turkey.

Integrated healthcare institutions with thousands of doctors as well as hospitals and polyclinics in scores of different locations  are in the forefront among the institutions accredited by JCI. Some of these facilities are entering into close cooperation with the world’s leading healthcare institutions and organizations.

Uncompromising when it comes to patient-orientation, these health care institutions adhere closely not only to national but also to international quality standards. While providing high-quality treatment in all the basic branches of medicine, such as oncology, cardiology, gynecology, in-vitro fertilization, neurology, surgery and internal medicine, hospitals in Turkey combine high technology with a patient-friendly environment. The number of healthcare institutions focused on specialization and providing VIP services is growing by the day.

Promoting Country First
Special consideration is being offered through Turkish Airlines for international patients to receive 25% discount over their system fares from USA to Turkey for both patient and provider with proof of referral from an American physician or acceptance from a Turkish Hospital or doctor. Turkish Airlines is the first to issue such a discount, which clearly demonstrates them as the lead supporter for Turkey in its effort to move forward in the medical tourism industry. For further information about medical tourism  in Turkey visit: www.medicaltourisminturkey.org