As an ambitious competitor, Turkey is eyeing a larger share in global health tourism as sector representatives hope to generate revenue of $7.5 billion next year.
Founding Chair of Turkish Healthcare Travel Council (THTC) Emin Çakmak noted that Turkey has positioned itself as the rising star of global physical therapy and rehabilitation, and highlighted that the sector will close this year at $7 billion, while the aim for the next year is to offer healthcare services for 800,000 patients and secure $7.5 billion.
Stating that patients from 146 countries choose Turkey as a destination to seek health, Çakmak said the country attracts patients particularly from Turkic countries, Russia, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait.
Thanks to Turkey's Africa initiation, the sector representatives promote healthcare services in that continent as well, Çakmak informed and added that participants from 22 African countries will attend the 2nd International Thermal Healthcare Tourism Summit which will be held in western Anatolian city of Denizli, famous for its thermal tourism.
"Our aim is to be the number one healthcare destination by 2023, which we will be accomplished thanks to the long-term vision of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the initiatives of the Ministry of Health," Çakmak said.
Turkey has opened numerous private and public hospitals over the last 10 years, and 22 city hospitals equipped with the state-of-art technology that will be operational until 2023. The country also continues to train more and more doctors at the newly opened medical schools.
Turkey is ranked fourth in the global list for healthcare tourism in terms of the number of patients it serves and comes third in terms of the revenue it generates from healthcare tourism. Last year, 746,000 patients came to Turkey for treatment, and the sector generated $5.6 billion in revenues, Çakmak informed. He also stated that sector revenues will be recorded at $7 billion by the end of the year, including 750,000 patients. He also projected that around 800,000 patients are expected, and the sector will yield some $7.5 billion next year.
Moreover, a recent tourism report issued by the Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TÜROFED) stressed that Turkey is among the leading countries in organ transplants, while the country's national policies boost healthcare tourism. The report also states that around 2 million medical tourists and $20 billion revenue are expected by 2023.