Hospitals expected to return to normal operations in June
Turkey’s hospitals are largely expected to return their normal operations and start to receive regular patients as of June 1 in line with the government’s plan to ease some of the measures imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
Accordingly, the number of pandemic hospitals across the country will be gradually reduced but some of those hospitals in certain cities, such as Istanbul and Ankara where the virus cases are still higher compared to other provinces, will not cease operations, Hürriyet newspaper has reported.
The normalization program for hospitals foresees that health institutions will return to their pre-outbreak functions and receive regular patients.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Turkey has surpassed 148,000 with the death toll from the disease standing at more than 4,000. Nearly 110,000 people have recovered from the coronavirus to date in Turkey, which has carried out some 1.6 million tests to detect people with COVID-19.
Health tourism to kick-start
Separately, the Health Ministry has announced that Turkey will accept patients from 31 countries, including the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, Qatar, Azerbaijan, and Russia, as of May 20, as it loosens coronavirus restrictions.
An official letter from the ministry lists acceptance conditions for patients, entry to the country, admission to hospital, treatment, discharge and isolation rules.
It also notes the measures to be taken for the patients and their attendants.
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.
At most two attendants per patient will be allowed into the country. The patients and the attendants will go through COVID-19 PCR tests or samples will be taken for the PCR test for a fee, when entering Turkey from the airports or border gates.
If there is a COVID-19 test available in their home country, patients are required to take the test within 48 hours prior to their travel and bring a 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 the corridor of the hospital will be allocated only for the patients coming from abroad.
The patients of orthopedics and traumatology, general surgery, pediatric surgery, urology, eye diseases, cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, surgical oncology, intensive care, assisted-reproduction treatment applications, organ transplantation and bone marrow transplantation will be accepted into the country.