What does Turkey offer Health Tourism?
Anatolia (now known as Turkey) since ancient times has been at the forefront of medicine. Many ancient practioners of medicine and surgery lived or worked in Anatolia or its nearby islands. It was a power house of medical and philosophical research that brought the sick and needy to the shores of Anatolia. As we all know from our history the Ionians, Greeks and Romans all considered Anatolia to be a place to regain your health. The first centres of medical science where opened in places like the Island of Kos or the city of Pergamum (Bergama). These centres differed from the rest of the world at the time because they saw disease as a natural process and not as punishment from the Gods. In fact Hippocrates was imprisoned for 20 years for what he was teaching. During his time in prison he wrote many articles one of the most famous being ‘The complicated body'.
Galen of Pergamum who practised surgery so advanced he would not be copied for nearly 2000 years. He is known to have conducted brain, eye and heart surgery, as well as being the chief physician to the high priest of Asia’s gladiators. During his time in this position only 5 gladiators died compared to 60 during his predecessor’s time. Although he lived to be an old man one of his patients warned him to be careful or face assassination if he continued to fly in the face of conventional wisdom.
Many of the ideas that we see as being new came from these ancient doctors and philosophers. Although the assumptions behind the ideas may be unscientific it doesn’t make them any less accurate, such as keeping your patient and environment sterile.
Turkey and its Modern Medicine!
In Modern Turkey the medical system has changed so much over the past 10 years. Government legislation means that the face of medicine has changed beyond recognition. The Turkish government Social Security System (SKG) has effected changes for its own citizen’s benefit. But some of these structural reforms have had an impact on the private sector as well. Doctors who work in the private sector do so exclusively now whereas before they could work on a 50/50 basis. There are the inevitable complaints that the brightest and the best Doctors are being drawn to private medicine, but this is the same with any country you go to.
Modern medicine in Turkey is pushing the boundaries of medical science, treatments on offer range from dental treatment to the latest in fertility options, reconstructive surgery, hair transplants to elective surgery, the choice is firmly in the hands of the patient.
Aftercare in Turkey often feels a little different from visitor’s home countries but that is only normal. Part of the difference is cultural and the other part professional. The professional differences stem from how doctors and nurses are trained. Doctors and nurses do not want to give bad news directly to patients and like to do so via members of the family. Culturally food is very central to Turkish life and as a result hospital food is different, such as baklava and ice cream instead of jelly and ice cream. Having a menu to choose your food from instead of being served what is available. These and other things all make for a different aftercare experience.
The Medical and Spa facilities in Turkey are world class and some are unique. This is often because of a blend of medical philosophies were the natural world meets medical science, and in Turkey this meeting often results in a new blend. Because of its geophysical location on top of the fault lines of Asia and Europe it is able to offer Spa treatments that are unrivalled anywhere in the world. This combined with its climate and already developed tourist industry means that stepping from a plane into a 5 star hotel is often easier than travelling to a Spa at home.
Hospital and Surgery Visits are just as simple, and it has often been commented on, that recovery after surgery in beautiful surroundings is much better for the patient than conventional places in Europe and America.
So What does Turkey Offer the Health Tourist?
Well the honest answer is everything, that’s everything from planning to treatment, recovery and check-ups, as well as all the little pieces in between. It offers unique food, a unique culture, a unique history and a unique service.
Turkey is certainly the place to regain health and advanced medical care. For more information please click in the button below!
Paul Johnson 2012-01-19 Articles/Press Releases