World's leading health authorities gather in Istanbul

Published 25.04.2016 00:15

The world's leading health and financial institutions will attend the second Public Private Partnership (PPP) Healthcare Summit, to be held in Istanbul from April 27-28, to address the topics of how the world's largest hospitals are operated and protected, as well as potential health investments.

The event, jointly organized by Elmadağ Law Office and PPP Experts, is supported by the Health Ministry and the Republic of Turkey's Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency (ISPAT). Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu is expected to attend the summit.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Elmadağ Law Office Founding Partner Ramazan Arıtürk said the summit will focus on PPP hospital models, and the financing of ongoing hospital projects in Turkey. He noted that health sector representatives from around 20 countries, including health ministers from countries including Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) India, Tunisia, Kazakhstan and Nigeria, will participate in the two-day summit. Stressing that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) supports the summit, Arıtürk said fund holders from Qatar and Saudi Arabia want to take part in Turkey's projects in Islamic finance. He also said that the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), which is financing a city hospital in Konya, will participate in the summit. Underlining that the world's largest health companies want to take part in Turkey's projects, Arıtürk said these companies are preparing for PPP projects, for which the Health Ministry will put out a tender in the upcoming period.

Arıtürk said a London-based fund allocated a budget of $3 billion to invest in Turkey's healthcare sector after participating in last year's summit, adding that he was invited to London to give a briefing at the fund. He further said that the fund's incorporation process in Turkey is continuing, adding, "A Saudi investment fund, which is $100 billion in size, takes great interest in Turkey and has pledged to allocate $5 billion to healthcare investments here."

Pointing out that Turkey has become one of the leading countries in the global health industry, Arıtürk said, "Thanks to investments made by public and private sectors, a significant number of patients from the Middle East, Africa, Far East and Europe visit Turkey for treatment. Turkey is becoming a health hub in a sense."

According to Arıtürk, an ordinary tourist in Turkey spends between $100 and $200 a day, while healthcare tourists spend 10 times as much. He said a total of $20 billion has so far been invested in the health sector in Turkey, and underlined that the country needs to invest an additional $20 billion in the sector. International credit rating agency Fitch will also attend the summit.

PPP Experts General Manager Sadak Choudhury said Turkey can successfully carry out a transformation program in the healthcare sector by using the PPP model, adding, "Other countries want to unite Turkey's experience in PPP with their own policies." He said that Turkey is one of the most attractive countries in terms of investment opportunities which it offers in the health sector, and the upcoming summit is an opportunity to display this potential.

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