Published on : Wednesday, November 20, 2019
The Turkish health sector offers services at par with Europe and the U.S., but at more affordable rates. Ali Öztürk, the head of medical consultancy company Care in Turkey said bout the Africa Initiative launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the early 2000s, “The Turkish hospitals established in Sudan and Somalia enabled us to see the demand for quality health service more clearly in Africa.”
Talks regarding the health care industry’s opening to Africa started in Somalia and subsequently spread to Sudan, Ethiopia, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Kenya, Chad and South Africa. Öztürk stressed that Africa has become a priority market for Turkish health care tourism.
Ahmet Aksu, chair of the Health Diplomacy Association, said that the number of foreign patients in Turkey has increased considerably now. “As of this year, revenues reached $3 billion and there is potential to increase this figure,” he added.
Turkey competes with Thailand and India regarding prices and with Europe and the U.S. for quality. Turkey’s particular strength lies in organ transplantation, especially, livers and kidneys.
“While a tourist brings $1,000 to Turkey on average, an African medical tourist brings $10,000 to the country on average,” Aksu said, adding that for improving access to medical tourism, Turkey needs to ease the visa process for medical tourists from Africa.