According to the Private Hospitals and Healthcare Organisations Association (OHSAD), there were changes in health spending habits in Turkey in 2020 and early 2021.
OHSAD notes that many people had to struggle with advanced heart and cancer disease without undergoing treatment or surgery. Patients avoided treatment and follow-ups for their chronic problems for more than a year. But hair transplantation, breast and nose cosmetic surgery, and Botox treatments continued to increase.
The pandemic seriously affected the medical tourism sector in Turkey. In 2019, the country had US$1.2 billion in health tourism revenue, but this figure decreased by 50% in 2020. The 2023 target for health tourism is 1.5 million health travellers, and a health tourism income of US$10 billion.
People from Syria, Iraq and Azerbaijan were the top three sources of patients in the hair transplant sector before the pandemic, but the number of German patients seeking hair transplants increased during the pandemic period.
A key source of medical tourism and tourism is the British. Turkey is set to allow British tourists to enter without needing a negative test result or proof of vaccination from April 15. However, while British travellers have received overtures from both the Turkish and Greek governments, at present they are currently unable to travel.