3 Strategic Priorities in Turkey’s Goal of Being a Regional Center in Health Tourism: Quality, Innovation, Coordination

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Strategies that will make our country more competitive in the field of medical tourism were discussed at the ‘Strengthening Value-Focused Medical Tourism in Turkey Workshop’ organized in collaboration with AmCham Turkey, USHAŞ and PwC Turkey. In the workshop, it was emphasized that the coordination between public and private sector institutions in the health ecosystem will increase service quality and patient satisfaction.

Representatives of the public and private sector healthcare sector came together at the “Strengthening Value-Focused Medical Tourism in Turkey Workshop” organized in collaboration with AmCham Turkey (American Companies Association), USHAŞ (International Health Services Inc.) and PwC Turkey.

Strategies to make Turkey more competitive in the field of medical tourism were discussed at the workshop, which was held online with the participation of approximately 100 senior representatives. The importance of coordination between the public and private sectors was emphasized in increasing the international competitiveness of Turkey in health tourism. In this context, the duties of the public and private sectors were discussed in the processes involving many stakeholders in order to increase service quality and patient satisfaction. In addition, in the workshop, the opportunities offered for the sector by accelerating the adaptation of innovative treatments in line with the technological developments in the medical device and pharmaceutical sector were evaluated.

‘Strengthening Value-Focused Medical Tourism in Turkey Workshop’ started with the opening speeches of T.R. Ministry of Health Deputy Minister Assoc. Dr. Tolga Tolunay, USHAŞ Deputy Chairman and General Manager Mehmet Ali Kılıçkaya, AmCham Turkey Health Working Group Chairman Ayhan Öztürk and PwC Turkey Consulting Services Public Sector Leader Akif Koca.

In the three sessions organized within the scope of the workshop; In order to increase the service quality in medical tourism, the focus was on strengthening inter-institutional coordination, the place and future of innovative treatments in medical tourism, and the effectiveness of current medical tourism promotion and marketing policies.

In his speech, T.R. Ministry of Health Deputy Minister Assoc. Dr. Tolga Tolunay said, “All the stakeholders of the health sector have shown great success in Turkey during the Covid process. This process showed us the importance of an affordable, reliable and easily accessible health system. Turkey’s advanced health infrastructure, qualified manpower, geographical proximity and climate provide a great advantage for health tourism.”

Mehmet Ali Kılıçkaya, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors and General Manager of USHAŞ, said, “In line with the medium-long-term goals of our country for health tourism, increasing the quality of service and competitiveness, turning the technological developments in the field of health into opportunities, carrying out the promotion and marketing activities effectively and completing the legal regulations. It is very important to strengthen the accreditation and audit infrastructure. In this direction, USHAŞ, which was established to undertake the task of coordinating between the public and private sectors in health tourism and to carry the point we have reached as a country to much higher levels, aims to act jointly with the sector and generate a strategy together in order to fulfill the duties and responsibilities assigned to it by the founding law in the best way possible. sees this workshop and similar events organized together with AmCham and PwC as an opportunity. With the increase in our qualified private hospitals and the increase in our quality and advanced technology health service capacity resulting from the recent city hospital investments, we believe that we will be ahead of rival countries in the near future.”

Ayhan Öztürk, Head of AmCham Turkey Health Working Group, said, “As the Health and Life Sciences Committee, we continue our activities within the framework of our association’s main goal of ‘becoming a force that carries our country to global markets’. In this context, we took action to strengthen Turkey’s role in health tourism and implemented the Value-Oriented Medical Tourism Strengthening Project in Turkey to better position Turkey in health tourism, which is expected to have a significant impact on Turkey’s financial sustainability. With our project, we aim to develop current policy proposals to increase the competitive power of our country in health tourism. As the Committee, we believe that providing access to and protecting the latest technology in terms of both pharmaceuticals and medical devices is of great importance for Turkey to achieve its desired goals in the field of health tourism. We think that the general approach should be formed within the framework of a value-based health services approach that will emphasize quality rather than price competitiveness.”

PwC Turkey Consulting Services Public Sector Leader Akif Koca made the following assessment regarding the report: “As the public sector consultancy team, our priority is to generate value for our stakeholders and the whole society in our projects and to support the transformation of this value into effective results. The Strengthening of Value-Oriented Medical Tourism Project, which we carry out, is a project that we designed and implemented with this perspective. With its qualified workforce and modern infrastructure, Turkey has the potential to export services higher than its current position. Our study tells us this.

In our study, we examined common treatments in the field of medical tourism and new developments in this field. We evaluated Turkey’s position in the world market and analyzed our export performance in the last ten years in comparison with the world market. We examined the current policy documents of our country in the field of medical tourism. We selected the countries that can set an example for Turkey, have performed well in recent years or are leading in the sector, and conducted case studies. We analyzed our strengths and weaknesses, which we will consider to increase our potential. We have prepared our workshop not only as a platform to discuss problems, but also to develop solutions. Our aim is to develop policy recommendations for relevant stakeholders and the industry in general, and to present a roadmap for strengthening medical tourism in Turkey.”

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