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The success of Turkey in health tourism has been quite noticeable recently. However, the decisiveness of establishing the relationship between health and tourism in a safe way can bring many ethical problems.

This is also part of the malpractice cases that are becoming more common every day. Therefore, it is very important that both doctors and patients who want to get services approach the issue with sensitivity. Here are your doctors the point is that health tourism in Turkey comes from the mistakes and the right ones.

One of the most successful issues in Turkey in recent years is health tourism. There are a large number of patients who come to Turkey for heart diseases, aesthetic and dental operations, especially for eye surgery. Scientific and the opening of technologically equipped hospitals, the knowledge of health professionals about this issue and the success of doctors in their fields have made Turkey a pioneer in international health tourism.

But there are also some annoying situations on the other side of the coin. A person who completely ignores the  health dimension of the event and tries to make a profit by juxtaposing the concept of health and tourism, and institutions cause great damage to both health ethics and Turkey’s success in this regard. The aim of this study is to determine the status of health tourism in Turkey and the health of those who look at health as the only gain gate in Turkey, as Turkey Medicals we asked the experts about the extent of their damage to Turkish tourism…


Otolaryngologist Assoc. Dr. DD, noting that along with the tourism side of the business, there is also a health part, Turkey is quite a pioneer country in health tourism he stressed that “We really have practices, doctors, services, hospitals and treatments that are above world standards in terms of health care. All over the world in certain areas we also have doctors at the levels who teach, train doctors,” he said.

Dr. Who said that the most important element in the health care provided to both citizens at home and those from abroad is trust, is also a very important detail that the treatment is not taken responsibility he said he was. Assoc. Dr. DD stated that the biggest problem he sees in the field of health tourism in the country is that some companies do not do very well to direct patients and follow up the procedures applied afterwards.


DD said that health tourism should not be seen as a job that only a tourism company will do,”For tourism under the name of health tourism, especially in patient communication and patient tracking channels it should be clear; infrastructures should be prepared that can be intervened when there is a problem and followed up when there is a complication. Obtaining a certificate from the Turkey Ministry of Health to become a health tourism agent is a need to. But there are also companies that are unofficially a tourism company and bring patients. I think this is the most important problem. Because it’s not health care, it’s turning into a for-profit business. Of course it’s a job, of course it’s a there will be profit, but we must not forget that this is the health aspect of the business,” he said.


Assoc. Doctor DD stated that foreign citizens who want to be treated in Turkey should know the names of their doctors in Turkey very well, especially. Health tourism transactions of people through the mentioned agencies he also emphasized that these agencies are very valuable and should be in the planning of the patient’s stay and travel in terms of the tourism part of what he is doing. DD, “Sometimes a patient asks an agent when he applies, he may not be able to fully communicate with the doctor or medicalpark hospital who will perform the operation. Here, the person who is going to come to Turkey must know the name of his doctor. Also, before the patient arrives, be sure to there should be a video call. A doctor’s meeting with a patient is mandatory, such as a face-to-face meeting. After that, when the patient comes to Turkey, be sure to come to the doctor before the operation and examine all he needs to know the details,” he said.


Associate Professor who says that clinics and companies receive medical tourism certificates in order to be able to do medical tourism. Dr. DD also made the following recommendations for patients who want to take advantage of medical tourism in Turkey: “Health every physician engaged in tourism receives a certificate from the Ministry of Health on health tourism. This is an important detail. They should ask about this certificate on the website and after learning the name of their doctor, they should ask for references they must necessarily want it and see it.”


Stating that the tourism and health part should be kept completely separate and that the physician is only on the health side, Dr said, “In the end, whoever comes across us comes from abroad, whether they come from Turkey or ours our patient. So we already have an ethical responsibility to him. Applying the best treatment we can, following up, intervening in any problems that may be caused by a doctor already from the patient’s nationality, nationality things that he is obliged to do independently. The tourism part here is actually an issue that agencies should follow. In other words, the patient’s logistical accommodation, contacting the Antalya or Istanbul doctor, the procedures to be performed the tourist part is to ensure the patient’s return after being scheduled by the doctor and the clinic. I think the distinction here should be clear. After all, the doctor in Turkey should be responsible for the health part of the incident. The rest logistical adjustments should also be under the control of the health agency,” he said.


General Surgery Specialist Prof. Doctor MA also pointed out that Turkey is one of the countries that is at a very advanced point in the field of medicine. If there is material support in Turkey, it is largely standing on the fact that an updated medical service has been provided, Prof. Dr. said that there is a risk of putting tourism at the forefront of health tourism and leaving health behind. “The reputation of it I think it’s something that could shake it up,” said Prof. Dr. MA, the most important point that foreign citizens who want to be treated in Turkey should pay attention to is the doctor’s resume, which will be treated he said he had a review.


The most important question that a person who wants to benefit from health care in Turkey should ask is, “What are the intensive care facilities if things go wrong in surgery cases, how well do they offer services?”

Prof. Dr. MA stated that the patient should also be evaluated according to this situation in the Turkish hospital.


Pulmonologist Prof. Doctor, on the other hand, pointed out that health and tourism are concepts that are not very identical to each other. Turkey has a great place in the world especially in health services Prof. Dr. “From this point of view, health is a subject that requires special methods and methodology that should be managed and exported alone,” MA said. Normal it needs to be accepted and managed in a much different way than tourism and trade. It is very very important to ensure its control, especially within an official or semi-official organization,” he said.

Prof. Dr. “Turkey has the potential to turn expenses in the health sector into income with the breakthroughs it has made,” MA said. It has also made a big difference between this issue and other countries is I’m afraid this is wrong it is necessary not to waste it by directing or thinking uncontrollably with short-term profits,” he said.

MA said that the elements to be paid attention to are not to restrict health tourism, not to match tourism and aesthetics, “Turkey is especially in cancer technologies and treatments, imaging methods, he has the capacity to apply very serious successful treatments and techniques in oral and dental health, rehabilitation, internal problems. Therefore, it is necessary not to restrict oneself only to aesthetics,” he said.


Prof. Dr. MA emphasized that health services should be kept at a controllable level and that it is important to determine the service-treatment-price standard. MA, “Health tourism is quite utopian things are being promised, and this area is trying to be dominated by quite utopian figures. Of course, people see advertising and promotional palettes and get in touch. The system is functioning very incorrectly. Who is the broker of the business there are people. They direct people to this industry with exorbitant profits. During the routing phase, there may still be brokers in the deal. They also add a second profit by contacting. The only thing that brokers do is their job to bring it as cheaply as possible. Of course, besides all this, there are beautiful hospitals and organizations that have been established very seriously in Turkey,” he explained.


Prof. Dr. MA described the medical tourism that should work correctly as follows: “Patients from abroad pass on their examinations and epicrisis written by their doctors. They say their expectations.

Doctors also say through these epicrises how much of the treatment the doctors there can do, what can be done in Turkey and the goals we will achieve as the final point. Because sometimes your patient also his expectations can be very high. Then the accounting details, travel expenses are calculated. With these, the patient sees what he can do in the face of what can be done and the capacities.”

Emphasizing that the important point here is that there is no deception in the service provided, MA said, “The service that will be offered will be determined by real ideals, as well as by the right method it needs to be implemented as well as an accurate pricing and cost reduction,” he said.


“I don’t think it’s very right for health to be a commercial commodity or even to be seen as a sub-entry of tourism. Obviously, I believe that all people should have access to health equally,” MA said, he said that it is important that health care should be provided in such a way that institutions can continue their business without turning into a commercial commodity, ignoring the health and the aspect of the event. Prof. Dr. MA noted that it is not out of the question for doctors to be in a decision-making and policy-making position on an individual basis.


Specialist in Turkish Aesthetic, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Prof. Dr. KE also said, “Is aesthetic health tourism being done correctly in Turkey?” he asks his question. The answer to this question should be given directly KE, who said that it is difficult, said that there are points where it is made higher than international standards, but there are also many shortcomings. Professor Doctor, “In the field of health tourism of course, it is inconvenient to impersonate only a commercial profit motive. It is one of these goals, but it will also be an extremely novice situation to make it look like there is only this. Instead of “It will be much more accurate and much more profitable for us in the international arena to make a reflection in the form of ‘we provide quality health care and we also get added value in return for it’,” he said.

Dr. Who said that a person who wants to be treated in Turkey should know how to conduct research very well, said: “There should be two goals in his research: one is to choose the right center, and the second is the right one he gave the detail of “choosing your doctor”. Prof. Dr. “In order to prevent the abuse of medical tourism in Turkey, no one who will receive medical tourism services should be provided with the right person in the right center it is important to ensure that they are brought together. In this sense, the presence of health units should be weighed very well and measures should be taken related to this. Of course, a foreign person who comes to the right place will also earn a very nice score for Turkey it will go back the way it was. He will get very good impressions, he will be satisfied with the service he receives, but unfortunately, there are situations when the opposite may happen. These are extremely bad ads for Turkey” the emphasis was made.


Noting that in order to maintain the success of health tourism in Turkey, all kinds of situations that can lead to bad impressions should be avoided, EK said, “Our doctors are very much in the world in the field of health he’s in a good position. We see this as the result of many international studies. Due to the fact that Turkey has participated in many international meetings or many international meetings have been held in Turkey we also know that. But is this enough or not. It is not only that our doctors are good, but also that our qualified personnel should be good. From the simplest, our qualified staff, nurses, health care it is very important that their teams speak foreign languages and help patients at the point when they need it,” he said.


Deciphering the relationship between the concepts of health and tourism, Prof. Dr. KA, “The issue in health tourism is this: to restore the health of a person who for some reason cannot regain his health in his country to another country we are talking about her traveling and getting services there. Here, in fact, not only from an aesthetic case, but also from serious operations and treatments that are directly related to life, not from aesthetic surgery you need to mention. It is also necessary to consider, for example, the patient who traveled from one country to another because of the tumor. In this sense, it is health and ethical for a person seeking the right to his own life to go to another country I don’t think the relationship between them will be decimated. So where should the doctor stop at this? A physician provides medical services. Of course, there is also a reward for the service he provides, but first of all, thinking about his patient, he must always maintain his happiness about giving health, bringing him back to health,” she said.


Cardiovascular Surgery Specialist Prof. Dr. MU, on the other hand, has recently started to put aesthetic branches at the forefront of health tourism, successful transactions have been made in many centers and there are a lot of them from abroad he stated that a request had been received. “The issue to be considered here is not to compromise on quality,” said Professor Doctor, The US noted that the experience of patients who have previously undergone these procedures is very valuable.

Stating that licenses have been issued to centers related to health tourism, these institutions and physicians have been checked, Prof. Dr. said, “But the most important problem is the application of different tariffs to foreign patients. And this is our reputation it makes you look bad,” he said.


Medical tourism in Turkey is carried out on the initiative of tourism agencies, rather than physicians and medical services, said Radiation Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. BP also found that 1 out of every 3 people with health he said he had the intention of doing the tourism. Expressing that this situation causes concern for health professionals, BP stressed that handicap begins with the preference of earnings over treatment.

He also said that he hears about a case of malpractice related to foreign patients almost every day. Dr. “The situation is no different in terms of hospitals,” BP added. Sometimes even this incorrect applications are being added to the table. Not every applicant should be allowed to obtain a certificate of authorization. The priority in Turkey health tourism should be to provide quality and qualified services, not to be focused on cheapness. If necessary, take the necessary measures if it is not taken, there is a risk that Turkey will have a bad reputation abroad.”


Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery Specialist who performed the world’s first cadaveric uterus transplant and the first face and double arm transplants in Turkey Prof. Doctor OO, on the other hand, said that aesthetic operations are a part of health tourism he said he has become more open to abuse because he is a little more popular than in other areas. “Unfortunately, the concept of aesthetics has been completely out of control in recent years. In particular, there is such a thing as ‘pseudo-‘ medical aesthetics the concept was derived, but there is no such specialty in the medical branches” and continued his words as follows:

“It is inappropriate for anyone to make an invasive attempt on the human body, except for a specialist in plastic surgery or dermatology. Especially for a purely cosmetic, non-urgent procedure, the application of someone other than a specialist it is very inconvenient for him to do this, we are witnessing many examples of this. Even this situation is very important on its own, in a nutshell, the concept of medical aesthetics in health tourism is uncontrolled for only a few months it will make it difficult to manage the complications that will occur if it is put into practice by people who have a certificate or by people who are not specialists.”


According to OO, it is necessary to contact serious, reliable institutions in this field or experienced doctors who have a certificate of expertise in their field. Providing brokerage services only, not having a certificate, with commercial concerns it is very important to stay away from the established structures and those who trade for it.

Prof. Who also gives suggestions to people who will receive services within the scope of health tourism Dr. OO, “Especially misleading ads on social media or the Internet should be avoided. A doctor’s hand at his job in order to understand that it is, it is necessary to look at the fact that he is a graduate of the faculty of medicine and has a certificate of specialization in medicine. He should also investigate how experienced the referred physician is in his profession,” he said.


Emphasizing that “very serious criminal sanctions should be imposed on practices outside the field of expertise”, OO emphasized that this issue should be seriously supervised and explained the relationship between health and tourism as follows:

“Unfortunately, when the concept of medical tourism comes into play, the practices in Turkey health are overshadowed by commercial concerns, and often even ignored. To be a physician only in order to perform cosmetic procedures it is not enough, if the subject’s specialist is a dermatologist or a surgical procedure, he must necessarily be a plastic surgery specialist. In recent years, we have been seeing this turn towards a commercial market.”

Stating that the destruction of a very important area that may be a source of income for Turkey in the future at the initial stage will cause great damage to our country, Prof. Dr. OO “The physician is within the field of expertise he must stop, do what is necessary within the limits of the powers granted to him by this field, that is, the specialty certificate. Ethical practices in which purely medical rules apply when the party is a person, even if it is a cosmetic matter it should be taken into account,” he commented.

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President of Organ Transplant Center at MedicalPark Hospital Antalya

Turkey's world-renowned organ transplant specialist. Dr. Demirbaş has 104 international publications and 102 national publications.

Physician's Resume:

Born on August 7, 1963 in Çorum, Prof. Dr. Alper Demirbaş has been continuing his work as the President of MedicalPark Antalya Hospital Organ Transplantation Center since 2008.

Prof. who performed the first tissue incompatible kidney transplant in Turkey, the first blood type incompatible kidney transplant, the first kidney-pancreas transplant program and the first cadaveric donor and live donor liver transplant in Antalya. Dr. As of August 2016, Alper Demirbaş has performed 4900 kidney transplants, 500 liver transplants and 95 pancreas transplants.

In addition to being the chairman of 6 national congresses, he has also been an invited speaker at 12 international and 65 national scientific congresses. Dr. Alper Demirbaş was married and the father of 1 girl and 1 boy.


Eczacibasi Medical Award of 2002, Akdeniz University Service Award of 2005, Izder Medical Man of the Year Award of 2006, BÖHAK Medical Man of the Year Award of 2007, Sabah Mediterranean Newspaper Scientist of the Year Award of 2007, ANTIKAD Scientist of the Year Award of 2009, Social Ethics Association Award of 2010, Işık University Medical Man of the Year Award of 2015, VTV Antalya's Brand Value Award of 2015.


Doctor of Medicine Degree Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine Ankara, General Surgeon Ministry of Health Turkey EKFMG (0-477-343-8), University of Miami School of Medicine Member of Multiple Organ Transplant, ASTS Multiorgan Transplant Scholarship. Lecturer at Kyoto University. Lecturer at University of Essen, Research assistant at the University of Cambridge .

Professional Members:

American Society of Transplant Surgeons, American Transplantation Society Nominated, Middle East and Southern Africa Council Transplantation Society 2007, International Liver Transplantation Association, Turkish Transplantation Association, Turkish Society of Surgery, Turkish Hepatobiliary Surgery Association.


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Medically Reviewed by Professor Doctor Alper Demirbaş
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