Healthcare And Health Tourism In Turkey

What Is Health Tourism?

Health Tourism is the use of health and tourism opportunities by people travelling to another country from their place of residence for the purpose of protecting and improving health or preventing and treating diseases. The person travelling for this purpose is called a ‘Health Tourist’.

Health Tourism has become a sector demanded not only by those who aim to get treatment but also by those who want to prevent any diseases that may occur. Those who have aesthetic concerns and seek for spiritual balance are also attracted by Health Tourism opportunities. There are even people who wants to make their purposes come true within a framework of cultural trip. Considering the facts that; the physical/mental benefits of relaxation, the social effects of getting in touch with local people and other tourists, the experiences by obtaining information about new locations, it can be said that travelling and taking trips contributes to all aspects of health.

A population which travels to be treated, relieved from stress or achieve a better appearance is regarded as an expanding and profitable market for those who meet the needs.

Why Health Tourism Is Preferred On A Global Scale?

Reasons why people regard Health Tourism as a good and fitting oppurtunity on a global scale are detailed in the following;

  • The oppurtunity to be treated within a short time span despite the long waiting time spans in individual’s own region and country
  • The financial comfort that exchange rates can provide (Individuals may be have to pay high treatment costs for the health problems they suffer in their own region and country. Health tourism regions in different countries or cities can offer low-cost and high-quality treatment options. In other words, the health tourist can save some of the money for the same treatment.)
  • The oppurtunity to benefit from highly advanced equipment and technology provided by health tourism organizations
  • Qualified services given by well-trained, skilled, experienced doctors and specialists
  • Desire to take a vacation while being treated (Individuals can seize the oppurtunity of visiting a different country and taking a vacation during the treatment process while benefiting from tourist advantages.)
The Most Preferred Countries For Health Tourism

Why Turkey Is Preferred In Health Tourism? What Is The Reason Behind Turkey’s Popularity In Health Tourism?

Turkey has been one of the leading countries in Health Tourism due to many factors in recent years. In 2022, 1,258,382 health tourists benefited from health services in Turkey, and an income of 1.926.094.000 US dollars was obtained from this health tourism period. It is expected that these numbers will grow tremendously in 2023 and upcoming years. But what is the reason behind this popularity? Following is the reasons why Turkey is preferred in Health Tourism on a global scale.

Factors that have an influence on the Health Tourists’ decision of preferring Turkey as Health Tourism destination;

  • Close flight distance (Turkey is located in a location where Asia, Europe and Africa are closest to each other. Thus, flights from all three continents take a shorter time compared to other places.)
  • Ease of obtaining a visa to Turkey
  • Lower costs (Considering the exchange rate, especially health tourists whose currencies are more valuable than the Turkish Lira, tend to choose Turkey as a health tourism destination.Even if it is not the case, Turkey indeed offers low-cost services for bigger audiences on a global scale.)
  • Health services’ quality level (Health tourists seek for highly-developed technologies. Alongside with this, they consider the competence and skills of the doctors whom they are going to be treated by.)
  • Accompanying touristic activities (Turkey is a perfect fit for health tourists who want to take a vacation during their treatment! Turkey, which offers a wide range of touristic activities, is one of the most preferred destinations for health tourists with this purpose.)

Types Of Health Tourism In Turkey

What does Turkey have to offer? Types of Health Tourism in Turkey are diversed. We can gather them under 5 main categories. They are as following; Medical Tourism, Thermal Tourism, SPA&Wellness Tourism, Senior Tourism and Accessible Tourism.

Medical Tourism

Medical Tourism is patients travelling to another country with the purpose of benefiting from medical services offered at destination place, in order to receive special medical treatment.
This facility is carried out in cooperation with the tourism sector. Both health and tourism sectors have a significant share in this process. In medical tourism, tourists primarily aim to receive special medical treatment at their destination. With this being aimed, other purposes of the travel contain activities that are directly linked with tourism.
This notion expresses people travelling to another city or country in order to get treatment and being a tourist and vacationer at the same time.

Turkey is among the countries that have an important place in the tourism sector with its features such as; geographical structure, underground and surface resources, historical and cultural beauties and climate. After the merger of the tourism and health sectors, both touristic activities and health services in Turkey are provided together. One of these services is medical tourism. Turkey has recently competed with countries that provide high-level health services (India, Thailand, Malaysia,Hungary…) Tourists come from all over the world to Turkey for treatment.

Within the scope of medical tourism in Turkey there exist various medical treatments such as ; dental treatment, medical checkups, health screening, heart surgery, prosthetic fitting, cancer treatment, neurosurgery, organ transplantation, qualified medical interventions, plastic surgeries and even IVF.

Featured Treatments in Medical Tourism In Turkey

Diseases Requiring Complex Treatment
– Cancer treatment
– Cardiovascular treatments
– Neurology and neurosurgery
– IVF applications
– All advanced diagnosis
and treatment methods
– Rehabilitation
– Transplant
– Orthopedics
– Nuclear medicine
– Dialysis
– Rheumatism
– Pain Management
Aesthetic Medicine Services
– Plastic surgery
– Health check
– Regaining weight
– Massage and SPA
– Balanced diet – theory & practice
– Skin diseases
Dental Treatments
– Implant
– Aesthetic
– Dentist
– Laugh line design
– Laser therapy
– Teeth whitening –
– Ceramic filler
– Porcelain veneer
– Crown and bridge
– Gum diseases
Eye Disorders and Diseases Treatments
– Lasik surgeries – Other eye disorders and diseases

Thermal Tourism

Some difficult life conditions lead people to alternative methods to solve their problems. Problems such as difficult living conditions in metropolitan cities, health problems caused by wrong eating habits, unhealthy environment caused by smoking, alcohol and drug use lead people to use thermal resources to rejuvenate and renew themselves. For centuries, people have used water sources to prevent diseases or treat their existing diseases. It has become even a tradition to use thermal water sources for diseases.

Salts and minerals in thermal waters have been used in the treatment of many diseases.
Thermal sources are medically accepted because it is an effective method for treating diseases. Because of this reason Thermal Tourism has been evaluated within the scope of tourism used for health purposes. In order to regain their health, people temporarily leave their places of residence.
They leave and go to businesses that offer Thermal Tourism services. Apart from services such as accommodation, eating – drinking in these establishments, there are also services to customers under the title of “health”. Here, the Thermal Tourism emerges as a result of people benefiting both from relaxing and treating activities. Thermal tourism is a very active type of tourism in Turkey. Due to the richness of geothermal resources, Turkey has a very high capacity in the field of Thermal Tourism.

Thermal Tourism in Turkey also diverses within itself. The following is the featured treatments in Thermal Tourism in Turkey;

  • Climatism is a type of treatment given near the mountainous and seaside areas to benefit from the relaxing, soothing and therapeutic aspects of open and fresh air.
  • Uvalism; It is a type of treatment by using the special and authentic products of the regions. In treatment fruits and vegetables are used.
  • Thermalism is a type of treatment in which natural waters obtained from hot springs are used.
  • Thalassotherapy is a type of treatment by taking advantage of sea water and sun.
  • Speleotherapy is a treatment applied by making use of the cave environment.
  • Peloidotherapy is a mud treatment.

SPA & Wellness Tourism

SPA is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase “Salus Per Aquam”. This expression means “health through water”. The SPA service takes the fatigue and pain away from the body by adjusting the water and salt balance in the body. SPA is about the relationship between body, mind and spirit and means regeneration and gaining energy. This service, under the title of tourism, refers to a peaceful and calm vacation that relaxes the soul.

Today, there are various application methods apart from the water and mud therapies of the SPA such as; hot water pools, massage therapies, fragrance therapies, beauty and care services and cure treatments.
In Turkey, there are many establishments in extent of International Health Tourism that serve within the scope of SPA service.

Due to its therapeutic feature, SPA Tourism is part of health tourism.

The word Wellness is formed from the combination of the words ”well-being” and ”fitness”. Wellness tourism is a health tourism service offered to help the person to be physically and mentally in good condition and fit. Wellness tourists are people who seek activities to protect and improve their health. In this context, Wellness is a state of physical, mental and psychological well-being.

Spa & Wellness is one of the most widely used health tourism services in the world and in Turkey.

Senior Tourism

The elderly population in the world is growing rapidly and exceeding the total population.
When we look at the world population data, the number of older people living in Europe is far more than the number of older people living in any other continent.

According to statistical data; individuals over 65 years of age travel more than the individuals in other age groups. Thus Senior Tourism is considered among the fundamental elements of tourism and particularly of health tourism. Individuals in the advanced age group in order both to get health services and to participate in touristic activities travel to various countries serving in this direction. Turkey is one of the most preferred countries by the people included in this class.

Services offered in Senior Tourism in Turkey can be listed as follows:

  • As touristic activities; historical and cultural tours
  • As health services; relaxing care services
  • Planned treatment services in clinical centers

Accessible Tourism

Accessible Tourism is a type of tourism that enables disabled individuals to benefit from tourism services and at the same time benefit from special care and health services.
Disabled individuals, like other segments of society, need to travel and have fun, as well as receive treatment. Tour and excursion organizations have been organized in the world and in Turkey in order to revitalize Accessible Tourism and enable disabled people to be active in tourism activities.


Hi, I'm Asya. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to Happy reading!

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