The global demand for more affordable, quality healthcare has more and more people looking beyond their immediate communities and borders to meet their medical needs. The majority of medical tourists are seeking care elsewhere because the procedures they want or need are more accessible and less costly in medical tourism destinations than in their home countries.
One of the major destinations for medical tourism is Turkey. Each year, medical tourism in Turkey is believed to contribute about $4 billion to the local economy. Although this figure varies across sources, all are in agreement that the country has emerged as a major medical tourism destination.
Medical tourists have increased considerably from 75,000 in 2007 to over 700,000 in 2017. Turkey’s medical tourists come from all over, including Latin America, the Middle East as well as European countries like Ukraine, the Netherlands, Russia, Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, and the United Kingdom.
This piece takes a closer look at UK tourists visiting Turkey for medical reasons. What’s causing the influx of medical tourists from the UK to this Asian European country? What medical procedures are they traveling for? We answer this and more in this article.
The State of Healthcare in the UK
The National Health Service (NHS) manages the healthcare sector in the UK. As a taxpayer-funded government agency, it strives to provide healthcare services based on need rather than a patient’s financial capability.
Unfortunately, the NHS has been underfunded since 2010. Despite being one of the highest-ranking healthcare systems in the world, waitlists are long (some are up to two years) and there are many challenges. The UK healthcare system is battling rising costs and striving to provide care for the elderly, people with chronic disabilities, and patients who need long-term treatment.
The situation may have in part contributed to the rise of the UK medical tourism market. In 2016, there were almost 144,000 UK citizens who traveled to receive medical care in another country. UK medical tourism statistics show that British nationals visited as many as 31 different countries for medical purposes. Eight countries received 72% of these visitors, and one of those countries is Turkey.
The Health Tourism Market in Turkey
One of the main reasons Turkey is such an attractive medical tourism destination is cost. According to Business Destinations, the price of healthcare treatments in the country are 70% to 90% lower than North America, Europe, and the UK.
In addition, the country has several internationally accredited healthcare facilities that are equipped with the latest medical technology, manned by highly skilled medical professionals.
Many find themselves traveling to Turkey from the UK for hair transplants, orthopedic surgery, heart surgery, cosmetic surgery, IVF, and to address other medical and dental needs.
Why is Dental Tourism in Turkey Booming?
For many Western European countries, dental treatments are not only excluded from basic healthcare insurance but are also expensive and require a long waiting period.
In contrast, Turkey is recognized for its accessible, affordable, yet high-quality dentistry.
Dental tourists can save anywhere from 50% to 80% by undergoing dental procedures in the country. It comes as no surprise that a significant chunk or around 40% of medical tourists come in for dental work.
If you operate a clinic, hospital, or medical travel agency that focuses on medical or dental tourism in Turkey, Medical Tourism Business can help you expand your brand. We use our deep industry insight and expertise to provide accreditations, marketing, contractual agreements, and web design so that you can thrive in this sector.