- Medical Tourism
Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry worth billions of dollars today; it also helps the economies of countries where it is popular and well-regulated; Turkey is such a country, with thousands of patients arriving for cosmetic and medical procedures every month; in 2017 alone, over 700,000 medical tourists arrived in Turkey from 144 different countries.
Turkey has an excellent reputation for medical tourism and is in a good geographical location making travel relatively easy for most people.
If you are considering becoming a medical tourist, then it is good to have a complete understanding of what the industry is and what you can expect, which is why we have created this complete guide to medical tourism in Turkey.
What does medical tourism involve?
Medical tourism is, by definition, the traveling of people from their home country to another country to seek medical care or have a cosmetic procedure done; there are several reasons why people become medical tourists, which we will discuss later.
Medical tourism facilitators are an important part of the tourism industry since they organize many aspects of your trip from airlines to hotels, and they connect you with the physicians and health care centers you will be having your treatment done at;
Medical facilitators are experts on how the medical facilities work and they are specialists at organizing all the logistical aspects of your trip; a reputable medical tourism company has facilitators who assist you with these different aspects of your trip so that you can have a stress-free experience.
What do you need to know as a medical tourist?
As a medical tourist there are important facts you need to be aware of; for instance, knowing how to go about finding the best health care centers and most reputable doctors and surgeons.
The basic steps involved in being a medical tourist are outlined below:
- Step 1 – choose the country you wish to visit as a medical tourist
- Step 2 – have a consultation with the health care center and doctors who will be treating you
- Step 3 – make travel and accommodation plans
- Step 4 – ensure you have a valid and current passport and the correct visa
- Step 5 – make the trip and have the procedure done
- Step 6 – return home
Step 1 – choose the country you wish to visit as a medical tourist
Turkey is the smartest choice you can make here for several reasons; for starters, the health care industry is well-regulated by the government; this means that you can feel reassured of safety and quality of care.
A further benefit is that many of the accredited physicians have trained overseas in the United States with world-renowned experts, learning the best procedures and using state-of-the-art technology; in fact, the care you can expect will be on a par with that of the United States.
The most modern and best technology and equipment is used; you do not have to be concerned about doctors using out-of-date instruments or methods; Turkey is modern with clean and safe facilities and the very best equipment available.
The doctor you choose should be board-certified and have JCI Accreditation and the Gold Seal of Approval; these are international accreditations that indicate that the physician has the correct training and has demonstrated excellence in their field and has an exceptional safety record, so you can feel safe in their care and be reassured of receiving the best quality of care.
Step 2 – have a consultation with the health care center and doctors who will be treating you
You need to have a consultation with the doctor or surgeons who will be performing your treatment; in addition, they can also give you a second medical opinion and look over your medical records; often these consultations are free and can be done easily over the internet; your medical facilitator can help you arrange a consultation by matching you with the best doctor.
It is important the doctor has a good idea of your current state of health, any medication you are on and any medical procedures, including surgeries, that you have had in the past; not only is this essential for your treatment but they need to know if any medications they prescribe could interact adversely with other medications you take; and they need to evaluate if you are a good candidate for your chosen procedure.
Step 3 – make travel and accommodation plans
The next step is to arrange when and how you will travel to Turkey and where you will stay for the duration of your trip; a reputable medical tourism company will help arrange all of this for you, because they know the country and what you need; this makes your life easier and reduces your stress and uncertainty.
Many people have to fly into Turkey, and here medical tourism companies are helpful because they often have good relationships with airline carriers and can help arrange affordable travel for you; accommodation needs to be at least partly arranged based on the distance to the medical center but also taking into account some of your preferences as well.
Step 4 – ensure you have a valid and current passport and the correct visa
It is essential you make sure that all the paperwork needed for traveling is correct and up-to-date; passports need to be valid for the entire time that you are away, and the correct visa is needed to enter the country; the exact requirements are likely to differ according to what country you are a citizen of, which is why using a medical tourism company to arrange your travel is a smart move; the experts can help you arrange travel and will know what paperwork you need.
Step 5 – make the trip and have the procedure done
Once all arrangements have been made, you can travel to the country and have the needed treatment; medical tourism facilitators help to arrange this for you and help with all the logistics within the country itself; they work as a patient advocate, helping you every step of the way.
During your trip it is important you have fluent English-speaking doctors and surgeons so that you can ask questions and understand their responses; tourism companies often provide a language and translation service, which is a good idea to use while in the country, because you may encounter people outside of the health center that you have a hard time understanding.
Step 6 – return home
The final part of your experience as a medical tourist is the trip home; the medical tourism company will have organized this for you and they will have made the appropriate arrangements for travel to the airport; before leaving it is important to check again with your doctor about any follow up that needs to be done or medications you may need in your home country; while conversations can be had once you are back home it is often easier to ask all the questions before leaving Turkey.
What types of treatments do medical tourists have in Turkey?
There are many medical procedures that people come to Turkey for; both cosmetic and medically-necessary work is done in the country by well-qualified physicians; cosmetic work is usually not covered by health insurance plans, which is why many patients opt to become medical tourists; costs are lower in Turkey compared with countries such as the United States, and you still receive world-class treatment.
Minimally-invasive cosmetic work includes such treatments as Botox injections or hair transplant surgery, while more invasive procedures includes liposuction, breast implants or abdominoplasty, to name a few.
Medical tourism also includes a range of medical procedures involving several parts of the body from the muscular system to internal organs; for instance, procedures such as ACL surgery, organ transplantation and cancer treatments are commonly done on medical tourists.
What are the costs of treatment in Turkey?
In most cases in Turkey, the costs of medical treatment, including surgeries, are affordable and quality of care is high; health insurance in a person’s home country often does not cover the entire cost of a procedure and there is a deductible that has to be met first; the other problem is most plans will have a lifetime limit of benefits, which can be quickly reached.
Even when health insurance covers procedures in your home country, odds are it takes some time before you can have the work done; this is because health plans usually require you to only use specific doctors and facilities, which may be very busy; paperwork is also needed to prove that the procedure is necessary and, in some cases, a person is denied treatment or only a cheaper, less effective treatment is authorized by your insurance.
Can you combine your trip with a holiday in Turkey?
It is possible to sometimes have a holiday at the same time as you have your medical treatment done, although the ability to do this will depend on factors such as if you are having major work done or a minor procedure, and how much time you can spend in the country.
Turkey has much to offer a person on holiday including open air markets, film festivals and UNESCO world heritage sites that you can visit as well as beautiful beaches for a relaxing holiday.
By using our guide you can feel confident that you know what medical tourism entails and what you need to think about when deciding if this is right for you.