Globalization, the widespread use of the internet and the ease of transportation have transformed the world in many ways. Health tourism is a form of service that has emerged recently. The importance of health tourism for the countries is increasing day by day. In this form of service, offered by combining health services and touristic advantages, the quality of the healthcare service provided is the main determinant in this regard.

Health tourism covers the services provided in many different fields such as thermal tourism, elderly and disabled care tourism. Medical tourism is also among these basic services. Medical tourism is often used synonymously with health tourism, as it is quite inclusive service type. Medical tourism, as a sub-field of health tourism, is a relatively new concept for the whole world. In this regard, medical tourism can be defined as a concept that refer to patients' travels abroad in order to receive a quality and economical healthcare service. Medical tourism has become widespread throughout the world since the 1990s. Therefore, initiatives in the field and the services provided are open to innovation and development. Medical tourism has an impacts on the national economies as an increasingly important external resource. Countries are restructuring their service quality and health policies in order to develop in the field of medical tourism and aim to play an important role in the field of health tourism through their geographical advantages.

Considering medical tourism in Turkey, Turkey has a natural advantage in the medical tourism due to the geothermal zone it is located in and the climatic conditions where all four seasons are experienced most clearly. However, the way to have a say in the field of medical tourism is to ensure the balance between medical and touristic aspects. The quality of the medical service offered is determinant at this stage. The quality of Turkish physicians and the ever-developing healthcare services secure Turkey's position in the field of medical tourism. However, there are new and important steps to be taken in order to reach the desired place in the international arena. The medical tourism sector in Turkey generally meets the expected standards. At this stage, the importance of gradually extending and promoting the quality of services offered in Turkey attracts the attention.

The fact that the services provided in the field of medical tourism are adaptable, modern, professional and meeting international standards is one of the main factors affecting the preferability of a country in this regard. Furthermore, it is foreseen that the expectations of people who want to receive medical tourism services will be met and the healthcare services in the country will stand out among other countries in an advantageous way. In this regard, Turkey is preferred more in the field of medical tourism with the advantages it offers in various branches.

In the field of medical tourism, Turkey's most preferred medical branches and services are hair transplantation, eye surgery, skin diseases, cancer treatments, physical therapy and rehabilitation, gynecology, IVF treatment, diabetes and cardiovascular surgery, dental and maxillofacial surgery, neurosurgery, plastic surgery, otolaryngology, orthopedics, Spa & Wellness and Check-up.

The importance attributed to health tourism is increasing day by day thanks to the healthcare services offered at international standards in Turkey and the natural and historical beauties in almost every region of the country. It is possible to understand the reflections of this from the number of people coming to Turkey to receive services within the scope of health tourism. According to TUIK (Turkish Statistical Institute) data, a total of 662,087 patients came to Turkey in 2019 to receive services within the scope of health tourism. Since health tourism services require long or short stays, this also means generating income from transportation, accommodation, meeting basic needs, health expenditures and touristic expenditures.

Considering the year 2020, when the whole world was under the effect of the pandemic, it is observed that the number of patients coming to Turkey to receive health tourism services has decreased by almost half. Therefore, the number of patients coming to Turkey within the scope of health tourism was 388,150.

The most actual data on health tourism services in Turkey was generated in the first three quarters of 2021. In this regard, health services were provided to 370,334 people in the first three quarters of 2021.

Services are provided in almost every medical branch by meeting international quality standards in Turkey. This directly affects the preferability in the field of medical tourism. Medical tourism is a field with many different dynamics. In other words, only the medical or only the touristic aspect cannot be considered seperately. The cost is one of the most important factors in this multidimensional whole. Furthermore, the quality of activities such as accommodation, transportation, communication and care services is also important. In this regard, Turkey has unique advantages in every field of medical tourism. The main advantages can be listed as follows:



Low Cost


While the treatment costs of patients from different countries are high in their own countries, the healthcare services they can benefit from in Turkey are relatively more affordable.


Insurance Coverages


In many western countries, procedures such as cosmetic and dental surgeries are not covered by health insurance and insurance services are quite limited.


Technological Opportunities


Turkey always renew itself by following the developing medical technology closely.


Waiting Periods


The long waiting periods experienced in many countries are much shorter in Turkey.


Exchange Rate Differences


Meeting treatment costs due to exchange rate differences is getting easier.


Accredited Organizations


Organizations providing health tourism services in Turkey have international accreditation.




Transportation costs in Turkey are quite affordable.

Service Quality

A low cost approach is adopted in the sectors in which services are provided despite high quality and high technological standards.




Health institutions can be established in the accommodation facilities and thus more comfort areas can be created with less effort.


Touristic Features



Turkey has many important locations in terms of tourism.