A Glance at Medical Tourism in Turkey and its Leading Hospital Group

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Contributed by Dr. Ahmet Alanay and the staff of Acibadem Hospitals Group Acibadem, Other Top Providers in Turkey Treat Record Numbers of Patients in 2012-2013 Garnering special attention in the world with its vast history, geography and natural beauty, Turkey is at the forefront for health services for international patients seeking high-quality care at a reasonable price. Extending like a bridge connecting Europe to Asia, Turkey is home to 73 million inhabitants and is now a center of attraction for health tourism. With many patients coming from a host of European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, France and Austria, along with Middle Eastern states, Russia, and the United States and Canada, Turkey stands out in health tourism with its advanced technology, internationally experienced specialists and medical services meeting or exceeding global standards. Many patients are naturally concerned with being treated in a foreign country, however, globalization is gradually managing to do away with these concerns. In Turkey, international patients receive special attention through Turkish Airlines which provides both direct and discounted flights from many countries, including the United States. Reliable low prices, disclosed up front, allow potential patients to make meaningful comparisons about quality and services. Many hospitals, including Acibadem Hospitals Group-Turkey’s leading group in the private healthcare sector with its 16 hospitals and 12 medical centers-offer accommodations comparable to those offered at five star hotels, and even assist family members with sightseeing arrangements while their loved one is undergoing treatment. In Turkey, where both Eastern and Western cultures overlap, treatments match those of the most developed nations worldwide. Health services, provided by highly qualified specialists, using the best in advanced technology, are also important bolstering factors in the increased success of treatments. The government of the Republic of Turkey has been actively supporting the expansion of health tourism and provides important financial support for institutions in this sector. In the legal context, the state has paved the way for health institutions and is targeting services to be provided to one million international patients per year. Most of the hospitals providing medical tourism services are recently built or renovated, and offer large private rooms, telemetry monitoring, and other state-of-the-art amenities, enhancing efficiency, quality of care, and results. Medical services with highly advanced technology are being offered in all branches of medicine and specifically in cardio-vascular surgery, oncological treatment, orthopedics, neurosurgery, pediatric surgery, cosmetic and aesthetic surgery, scoliosis and kyphosis surgery, bone marrow, kidney and liver transplants, as well as in ophthalmology and dentistry. Ahmet Alanay, M.D., professor of Orthopedics and Traumatology at Acibadem Spinal Health Center and leader at the Scoliosis Research Society’s World Education Committee, was trained in scoliosis treatment in the U.S. Dr. Alanay points out that “medical services are in fact extremely advanced in Turkey. “After having completed my studies in the United States, I decided to continue my career in Turkey because it was so advanced. There are many of my colleagues here with international experience. We adopt a mutual and multi-disciplinary approach in diagnosis and treatment so that foreign patients do not need to be concerned about receiving necessary proper medical treatment. Our specialists have extensive international training and experience, and are all required to speak English-this way patients from the United States don’t experience any issues stemming from a language barrier.” Whether it is in advanced technology or its specialty health services, Acibadem stands out in services which use state of the art medical equipment, such as the da Vinci – the ultimate in robotic assisted surgery — and the Gamma Knife Perfexion — a leading-edge method for treating brain tumors. Acibadem also uses the Flash CT which provides heart angioscopy within 0.25 seconds, and the CyberKnife for treating tumors. Also included in Acibadem’s equipment inventory is the LIAC, used for single dose radiotherapy treatment during breast cancer surgery, the state of the art True-beam — which incorporates a number of cancer treatment components in one piece of equipment and the Total Body MRI, which can scan the whole body within a short 45 minute period — used for persons suspected of a cancerous growth. All of this technology combined sets Acibadem apart as a health services provider. Acibadem’s International Patient Center, with its staff of over 100, takes care of foreign patients from A to Z, providing full medical concierge assistance. The center provides a comprehensive range of services from information and consultancy to patient support services, even including home pick-up services for transport to Turkey for treatment, as well as their return trip. Also, if so required, arrangements can be made so that the patient can be monitored at home upon their return. As of 2012, Acibadem provides treatment services in 90 different medical branches and already receives 20,000 international patients a year from five continents and 47 nations. In addition to the medical concierge services offered in Turkey, Acibadem also provides patients with the chance to discuss potential medical treatment in Turkey ahead of time with “Dr. Marcy” — Marcy Zwelling-Aarnot, an Acibadem-affiliated American physician practicing in Los Angeles. For more information on Acibadem’s international patient services: http://heartandspinesurgery.com http://acibadem.com.tr

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