Health tourism firms hopeful of Russia, US

Health tourism firms hopeful of Russia, US

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Health tourism firms hopeful of Russia, US

Turkish health tourism may soon shine, according to a local organization. AFP photo

Problems in the health sectors of large countries such as the U.S. and Russia may offer the Turkish health tourism industry an increased place in the market, according to sector representatives.

Worldwide health sector representatives were gathered at the Istanbul Health Expo Fair, at which Turkey’s opportunities to rise as a health tourism attraction were discussed.

Many people from the U.S and Russia have been seeking treatment abroad but Turkey is not on their agenda as much as it could be, according to Filiz Çevirmen, the chairman of the Istanbul Health Tourism Association.

She said Turkey should explain its progress in the health sector by promoting it abroad to increase its market share in the $100 billion sector.

Azita Motoghaddam, chairman of an American health market consultancy business, also emphasized Turkey’s potential, adding that there was a large deficiency of doctors in the U.S., given the aging population. “In the U.S., an average of 1.6 million people go abroad for treatment every year, spending a total of $19.2 billion. Countries like India and Thailand are popular destinations, but Turkey has a better infrastructure than these countries,” she said. Lena Kargapoz Tseva, a Russian health specialist, complained about the falling health budget in Russia and said that Russian citizens were increasingly swerving to alternative countries such as Israel and Germany.