Turkey: Medical tourism revenue at US$1.6 billion in nine months of 2022

Türkiye generated US$1.6 billion in the first nine months of 2022 from medical tourism, according to data from state owned healthcare company, USHAŞ. From January to September, 870,000 foreign medical tourists arrived for treatment.

The most preferred services for international patients are gynaecology, internal diseases, ophthalmology, general surgery, dentistry, orthopaedics and traumatology, infectious diseases and ear, nose, throat problems.

USHAŞ estimates the full year revenue will be US$2 billion and numbers will be 1.1 million.

USHAŞ was established in 2019 under the roof of the Health Ministry to promote the services offered in the field of international health services in Türkiye, and support and coordinate the activities of public and private sectors towards medical tourism.

Turkey has a problem with healthcare quality. Inspections should be tightened by the Ministry of Health says the Turkish Health Tourism Association. Illegal businesses damage the image of the country. One of the most problematic is hair transplants. The Turkish Health Tourism Association is offering training to increase the quality of service in clinics and hospitals.

Competing Turkish organisations have never agreed on medical tourism numbers.

A widely circulated recent story is a claim that a million people went to Türkiye in 2022 and spent US$2billion on hair transplants. The head of the Turkish Health Tourism Association claims a total medical tourism revenue of US$4 billion, plus a spa tourism income of US$10 billion.

Great care has to be taken as the historic and target figures are of international patients that includes include medical tourism (treatment and surgery in hospitals), spa tourism, thermal tourism (rehabilitation and rest in thermal facilities), hair transplants, elderly and disabled tourism (long-term stays). The numbers may also include Turkish expatriates temporarily living abroad and/or Turks who have migrated, international traveller emergency patients and the millions of refugees living in Turkey as international patients/medical tourists.

For detailed analysis of medical travel numbers to Turkey, visit the IMTJ Country Profiles.