A term you may be coming across more and more often, medical tourism has been an evolving phenomenon. In this blog post, you will find out what it’s all about, what benefits it offers to human well-being, medical tourism highlights, and the most trusted destinations.
If you want to know what medical tourism can offer you, this is probably the only resource you need as we break it down explaining in easy to follow sections.
What Is Medical Tourism and How Does It Work?
Medical tourism is a type of healthcare excursion in which the patient visits another country to receive high-quality medical and/or cosmetic attention. Depending on the type of procedure, a medical tourist may also combine their trip with vacation time in a single trip. But even if they don’t, it still falls under medical tourism due to the main travel purpose.
In a simplified way, the process starts like this: Once the patient has decided on their destination, they contact the medical facility and set up their (probably online) appointment to talk about the details.
Think of it like planning a regular trip where you pack your medical history along with your travel essentials. In an ideal scenario, you get your treatment from the hands of skilled doctors and fly back home feeling your best.
When Did Medical Tourism Get Popular In Turkey?
From the early 1980s until the late 1990s, what is now called medical tourism used to be mainly organ transplants, open heart surgeries, and other types of life-threatening operations performed outside of one’s country.
To provide examples; traveling to Cuba for their famous lung cancer cure or to India to get a kidney transplant were the only examples of medical tourism at the time.
Things have since changed a lot.
Medical tourism today covers all of what it meant back then and much, much more.
Turkey’s popularity in medical tourism has a long standing history on the other hand. The country was one of the first and most successful in correcting eyesight when the first generation of lasic operations started in the early 2000s.
For a total cost of US$ 700, people in Turkey were among the first in the globe to get both eyes corrected with this new method and technology. The success of lasic operations in Turkey back then was soon to be recognized and demanded by the rest of the world. And thus, the country started receiving an influx of medical tourists. Ease of travel with more airlines covering even the darkest corners of the world contributed to people’s access to get something done in another country.
In the years to follow, Turkish Airlines became the top carrier that has the largest number of direct flights between Istanbul and the rest of the world. Meanwhile, Turkey’s lasic success continued with dental work, cosmetic surgeries, and hair transplants.
What Are The Reasons Why Turkey Has Become The Leader Of Medical Tourism?
Turkey is a top contender in the medical tourism Olympics. Here’s why the country keeps its place as the gold medalist year by year:
Turkey is the preferred location for cosmetic operations. The country has a thriving medical industry that draws people wishing to enhance their natural appearance and it’s all based on the trust, rapport, and results the country has been working on for decades.
Top Quality Medical School and Facilities
Turkey invests in seriously trained medical students who in their final year of medical school are better than most seasoned doctors in the rest of the world. Some of these talents become highly skilled surgeons that get the country’s medical tourism industry to move and boom.
Highest Quality Care
Turkey has exceptional medical professionals and cutting-edge clinics. The country’s focus is on fusing top-notch medical care with the renowned Turkish hospitality and they’re great at it.
The cost of medical treatments in Turkey can make your wallet dance with joy. Affordability, although not the main selling point, certainly contributes to the country’s charm as the most preferred destination for medical tourism. In fact, Turkey could easily put up the cost of cosmetic surgeries since the country has gained top popularity but they seem not to choose to go down that road.
The All-inclusive Concept
You may not be aware that all-inclusive hotels aren’t the only service in tourism offered by Turkey. The country is highly organized among its networks and offers all that you need as a medical tourist in a single package.
As mentioned in the previous section, Istanbul is the most accessible city in the world with the highest number of direct flights operated by Turkish Airlines among other carriers.
Therefore, people naturally find it convenient and easy to jump on the flight, knowing that everything from transfers to accommodation will be taken care of. This is important since 100% of visitors would like to know the final cost of their treatment and Turkish clinics found the perfect solution to prevent any suprise bills. It is remarkable how patient-centric the whole sector in Turkey is.
Based on all of these solid reasons, Turkey is rocking the medical tourism scene with top-tier care, amazing value, and an unmatched level of patient care.
What Are The Most Common Medical Procedures in Turkey?
The most common cosmetic procedures that are prominent in the world line up with the medical procedures most performed in Turkey.
The country is equally successful and popular in all of the below medical procedures. Some think that Turkey mostly does hair transplants but this is because hair transplant patients are easy to spot at the airport whereas dental work or liposuction patients’ appearance won’t scream about their aesthetic procedure.
Dental work: From high-tech fillings to teeth whitening, implants, and Hollywood smile, ultra-modern dental clinics in Turkey provide exquisite results for a reasonable cost. Most Europeans have their dentist in Turkey, especially those who regularly come to soak up the sun for vacation. If it never occurred to you to book a dental appointment during your visit to Turkey, you’re missing out big time!
Hair Transplant: Turkey’s dominance in providing the best price/performance hair transplants is remarkable. Individuals from all over the world frequent clinics in Istanbul to change their lives forever.
Breast augmentation and breast lift: Never out of fashion, both breast augmentation and breast lift surgeries are among the most performed in Turkey with half of the patients coming from abroad.
Liposuction: Similar story with the breast lift, liposuction is another very popular shortcut to a much better appearance, and Turkish surgeons deliver exceptional results.
Eyelid surgery: Defined eyes are agelessly trendy and we all age so eyelid surgeries are among the most requested in Turkey.
Rhinoplasty: Skill and artistry are some of the strengths of Turkish surgeons. When it comes to reshaping a nose, their talent is unmatched with natural results and satisfied patients.
What Types Of Medical Tourism Packages Are Available In Turkey?
Like in most travel packages, you’ll see that reputable clinics in Turkey can get your foot in the door for a fraction of what you would pay if you book everything separately.
When you add the cost of your desired surgery, car rental, accommodation, translation services, pre-surgery consultations, post-surgery medications, and other expenses together, the hype about Turkey won’t make much sense.
The trick is to find a trusted agent or clinic to provide you with an all-inclusive package price and to let them work their magic.
In most cases, when you opt for the all-in package, from the moment you arrive at Istanbul airport to the moment of your departure, everything is taken care of. If you do not wish to deal with details you may not know about a foreign country, leave it to professionals.
What Other Countries Compete With Turkey?
The conscious medical tourist travels to where they are treated best in every way. Due to vast geographical and cultural differences as well as the level of expertise, it would be wrong to put all countries listed below in the same basket.
However, since our aim here is to help you make an informed decision, we do want to touch base on some of the close competitors of Turkey when it comes to providing excellence in medical tourism.
Pros: Ease of travel if you live in SEA, Australia, or New Zealand. Somewhat experienced in cosmetic surgeries.
Cons: Cosmetic surgeries cost way more expensive than in Turkey. There’s a high risk of infection due to the hot and humid climate.
Pros: Close proximity and frequent flights for those residing in the US or Canada. The level of expertise stands behind Turkey but beyond most other nations.
Cons: Make sure you understand Latino beauty standards and if they match your idea of an enhanced appearance.
Pros: If you like the charm of this beautiful country, spicy food, and a little chaos, India is for you. There are some clinics that stand out from the rest but it’s a vast ocean out there so make sure to do proper research about your chosen facility.
Cons: Far from Europe and the Americas. High risk of climate related infection and mosquito born diseases. Poor sanitation in daily life.
Pros: Ease of travel for those residing in Central and South America. Good level of expertise in cosmetic surgeries.
Cons: Similar to Mexico, Colombians have their own perception of beauty so make sure to communicate your expectations to the dot.
Pros: The Korean beauty industry has suddenly taken the world by storm. There are certain specialty operations that are performed successfully in Korea and others that aren’t that much of the country’s highlights.
Cons: Far from Europe and the Americas. Flights are costly and so are accommodation, food, and living expenses in general.
Is Medical Tourism Safe?
Medical tourism, like regular tourism, is perfectly safe when you make the right choices about the facility and health professionals.
Remember that if you want to vacation at a beachfront property and you come across a super cheap Airbnb, it is highly likely that something is off. So reason and logic are your best friends.
There is no one formula when deciding about your safety. Thus, the facility you chose must tick all the boxes in terms of accessibility, affordability, success rates, patient care, reviews, credibility, and evidence of previous happy patients.
What are the potential disadvantages of medical tourism?
The truth is that for most arguments that could be considered as a disadvantage, there are strong counterarguments.
Let’s explain it in one simple example; the cost of a flight may be categorized as one of the disadvantages of medical tourism. This is only true if the total cost of your trip exceeds the total cost, may you have had the same surgery at home. Therefore, the only disadvantage here could be the travel time rather than the cost.
On another level, you are responsible for the medical tourism destination you decide on. It doesn’t require a genius to foresee that different countries have different standards. That’s why in our view, it’s a gray area if you can make any claims in the case you catch an irrelevant disease in the tropics as opposed to coming back home with enhanced looks and health.
How To Pick The Medical Tourism Company?
This can be explained in 3 simple words: Do Your Research.
Also, following these simple rules will help you make an informed decision:
- avoid the cheapest options
- make sure your counterpart communicates in a way that is satisfactory for you
- do your research to ask informed questions to medical tourism companies or clinics that made it to your shortlist
- check licenses, names, reviews, and Google all that you can
- compare what’s on offer with other options
- trust your gut feeling rather than serial-believing in excuses and unreasonable explanations
- be kind and professional and expect the same in return
What Are The Best Medical Tourism Companies In Turkey?
Let’s start with the definition of a medical tourism company. There are numerous brokers who will hook you up with an aesthetic clinic in return for a commission. Some of these brokers may be licensed professionals with an actual registered business so they too will fall into the category of a medical tourism company.
Then there are the clinics themselves. In Turkey, for example, top clinics have a wide network of stakeholders and great teams. They are therefore highly organized in offering comprehensive packages directly to the patient.
If your overseas surgery is something you want to keep low-risk, we would agree that there is no need to search for an adventure. In the end, this is about your health and well-being.
For the non-adventure-seeking medical traveler, one of the most reputed clinics in Istanbul is Heva Clinic. The skilled, licensed, and internationally recognized surgeons at HEVA offer the best available medical care and results.
Among the specialty aesthetic treatments Heva Clinic offers are hair transplants, dentistry, breast lift, rhinoplasty, liposuction, and more. Medical tourism activities of the clinic are registered and audited by the Ministry of Tourism as well as the Ministry of Health. This means that they have all the necessary licenses and experience to plan your trip, different from other medical clinics.
Heva Clinic’s high success and trust levels lie in their transparency principle and they offer a FREE online consultation to answer all of your questions.