200,000 foreigners visit Turkey to receive medical care
The number of foreigners who visit Turkey for treatment in Turkish hospitals increased to 200,000 in 2011, Health Minister Recep Akdağ has said.

Attending the 5th International Health Tourism Congress, held in Ankara on Monday, Minister Akdağ said the number of foreigners who visit Turkey for medical treatment has been increasing every year as Turkish hospitals offer high-quality medical services at affordable prices compared to other developed countries.

Stating that Turkey has great potential to become one of the world's best health tourism destinations, Akdağ further underlined that Turkey was a country that used to send patients abroad for treatment 10 years ago but has now taken its place among the top 10 health tourism destinations in the world.

Highlighting that the Health Transformation Program launched by the Ministry of Health in 2003 made the lion's share of the contribution to this recent progress in the Turkish health care sector, Akdağ stated that the number of visiting foreigners who received treatment at Turkish hospitals reached 200,000 in 2011. He further added that almost half of these foreign patients visit Turkey to receive medical service in particular.

Stating that the Ministry of Health is currently working on initiatives that are expected to boost the number of foreign patients in Turkey, Akdağ announced that health counseling centers have been established to provide consultations for foreign patients in the country. "A call center has been established to provide services to those patients. Foreign patients in Turkey can consult medical personnel by dialing the call center number [444 47 28], which is available 24/7. This call center can handle four languages: English, Russia, Arabic and German," Akdağ noted.

Also speaking at the congress, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) Health Minister Ertuğrul Hasipoğlu said the KKTC had great problems with its health care sector in the country's first years, but that in recent years it has achieved great progress in the area.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CİHAN
Last Modified: 2012-11-20 20:00:01
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