Published on : Monday, May 18, 2020
Turkey is going to accept foreign patients from 31 countries as part of efforts to reopen its health and tourism economy and loosen coronavirus restrictions. The Turkish Heath Ministry said that it has set certain security conditions, isolation rules and strict hygiene protocols for foreign patients to enter the country, to be admitted to hospitals and to receive treatment.
The statement published by the ministry noted that the measures will apply for both the patients and their attendants. According to the conditions, a maximum of two attendants per patient will be allowed into the country. The patients and the attendants will go through COVID-19 PCR test or samples will be taken for the PCR test for a fee, when entering Turkey from the airports or border gates.
If there are COVID-19 tests available in their home country, patients are required to take the test within 48 hours prior to their travel and bring negative COVID-19 PCR test result paper along with them.
Only COVID-19 negative individuals will be accepted into the country. After entering Turkey, the patients and their attendants will be directly taken to the hospital where they have an appointment and they will not be accommodated anywhere else.
The 31 countries include Iraq, Libya, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Greece, Ukraine, Russia, Djibouti, Algeria, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Moldova, Somalia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Turkey has become one of the top destinations for medical tourism. The country attracts nearly 1 million foreign visitors for treatment purposes in 2018. The health tourism encompasses a wide range of treatments, from medical tourism, such as treatment and surgery in hospitals; thermal tourism, with services such as rehabilitation and rest in thermal facilities; and elderly and disabled tourism, with long-term stays with social activities in geriatric treatment centers.
While Turkey has developed its investment portfolio within the framework of these categories, the interest of tourists who seek treatment in areas such as oncology, orthopedics and aesthetics in the past few years has been reflected in official figures.