Turkey top spot for eye surgeries with over 40,000 operations a year: Experts
ANKARATurkey has ranked as the world’s top country for the number of eye surgeries done annually according to a senior Health Ministry official, as over 40,000 operations are carried out yearly in Turkey, mainly on foreign patients amid rapidly rising demand.
The highest number of foreign patients came from Britain, Germany and Middle Eastern countries, according to sector representatives.
With the rise in investments in health tourism, Turkey has become one of the top destinations across the globe, said Health Ministry Health Development General Manager Ömer Tontuş, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.
“Turkey has become quite popular in laser eye surgeries to cure myopic and hypereutrophic problems. As the use of advanced laser technologies has become common, the number of such operations has seen a dramatic hike,” he said, adding that people have recently learned many eye maladies are now operable.
One in four international patients prefer Turkey
“Some 25 percent of international patients prefer Turkey for eye operations,” Tontuş said, adding that around 40,000 eye surgeries are done in Turkey a year.
Turkey is followed by India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand in the world, but the number of operations made in these four countries has been below the Turkey’s figure, according to sector representatives.
Tontuş said thousands of patients wait for their operation day to come.
The most popular spots for foreign patients are Istanbul and the Mediterranean resort of Antalya. The remaining one-third prefers the capital Ankara, the Aegean city of İzmir and the northwestern province of Bursa, which is especially popular among Arabic tourists.
In terms of per patient income, regular tourists bring around $700. The medical tourism income average is $8,000, according to sector players. This does not include the accompanying people’s income, but they often come as a family.
There has also been a steady increase since 2005, when Turkey received around 125,000 foreign patients. In 2010, Turkey reached $2.4 billion in income and 487,000 foreign patients. The numbers for 2014 were 727,000 patients and $5.5 billion. The next target was reportedly 2 million patients and $20 billion in income.