[:en]Turkey will start accepting foreign patients from 31 countries as part of efforts to reopen its economy and loosen coronavirus restrictions, the health ministry said Saturday.
The ministry said that it has set certain security conditions and isolation rules for foreign patients to enter the country, to be admitted to hospitals and to receive treatment.
The statement by the ministry noted that the measures will apply for both the patients and their attendants.
According to the conditions, a maximum of two attendants per patient will be allowed into the country. The patients and the attendants will go through COVID-19 PCR test or samples will be taken for the PCR test for a fee, when entering Turkey from the airports or border gates.
If there are COVID-19 tests available in their home country, patients are required to take the test within 48 hours prior to their travel and bring negative COVID-19 PCR test result paper along with them.
Only COVID-19 negative individuals will be accepted into the country.
After entering Turkey, the patients and their attendants will be directly taken to the hospital where they have an appointment and they will not be accommodated anywhere else.
One floor or corridor of the hospital will be allocated only for the patients coming from abroad.
The 31 countries include Iraq, Libya, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Greece, Ukraine, Russia, Djibouti, Algeria, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Moldova, Somalia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
The patients of orthopedics and traumatology, general surgery, pediatric surgery, urology, eye diseases, cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, surgical oncology, gynecologic oncology surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, brain and nerve surgery, hematology, intensive care, assisted-reproduction treatment applications, organ transplantation and bone marrow transplantation, will be accepted into the country.
The patients will be registered to the patient chart of the International Health Services Inc. (USHAS) and following the pre-approval, their permission letter will be sent to the related institutions. Documents needed for the pre-approval will be announced by USHAS.
In recent years, Turkey has become one of the top destinations for medical tourism, attracting nearly 1 million foreign visitors for treatment purposes in 2018, according to official data.
Health tourism encompasses a wide range of treatments, from medical tourism, such as treatment and surgery in hospitals; thermal tourism, with services such as rehabilitation and rest in thermal facilities; and elderly and disabled tourism, with long-term stays with social activities in geriatric treatment centers.
While Turkey has developed its investment portfolio within the framework of these categories, the interest of tourists who seek treatment in areas such as oncology, orthopedics and aesthetics in the past few years has been reflected in official figures.
(Source: Daily Sabah)