Health Tourism

What is health tourism?

Going to another country from the native country for treatment is called health tourism. One who carries out this travel is health tourist.

Causes of Health Tourism

  • Health service and professional staff  are more accessible in another country
  • Opportunity of having both treatment and vacation
  • Health services are cheaper than one’s native country
  • Will of discovering new locations.
  • Knowing that health services are more qualified
  • One wants that nobody knows one’s treatment because of social reasons.
  • One’s treatment is impossible in one’s country.
  • The thought that people who are substance abuser will be treated well in a different environment.
  • Patients who have chronical diseases, disabled and old people want to live in a natural environment and be treated here.
  • Will to hold on to life and to live.
  • Thought that one will find better opportunities in another country.

Health tourism can be classified into three categories.

  • Medical-Surgical Tourism (Treatment in hospital or clinic)
  • Thermal Tourism (Natural treatment in thermal institutions for rehabilitation and recreation)
  • Tourism for Disabled and Elderly People (Long-term stay in highlands and geriatric treatment centre)

Medical Tourism

With global successes gained by hospitals and clinics which have entered into service recently in Turkey, with increasing of experienced doctors and health staff and with cheap prices, demands of treatment accepting from other countries in Medical Tourism field have increased. As health centres and hospitals are found in city centre and close to the hotels where tourists stay, there is a opportunity to see the natural and historical beauties of Istanbul and other cities.

Medical Treatment in Turkey

Patients who come to Turkey for medical treatment prefer generally Aesthetics Surgery, Hair Transplantation, Ophthalmology, Dental Treatment, Organ Transplantation, Test-tube baby and Cardiology branches.

Thermal Tourism

Thermal tourism includes; thermo mineral water bath, inhalation, drinking, mud bath, physiotherapy, climate cure, exercise, rehabilitation, diet psycho-treatment and amusement in thermal springs.

Turkey has a potential about geothermal resources. In Europe, Turkey is on the first rank in resource potential. In every side of Turkey, it is possible to find different thermal institutions. Turkey is on Alpine Orogenic belt and also on a important geothermal belt. Warmth, chemical and physical characteristics of thermal springs which are nourished by more than 1500 resources are more superior to thermal springs in Europe. 500 of these 1500 resources in Turkey are known as curative.

With its 1500 resources whose temperatures change from 20 °C to 110°C and whose debits change from 2lt to 500lt, Turkey is in the first 7 countries in this respect.

With thermal resources which have curative characteristics thanks to their high mineralisation content, rich cultural, natural and climatic features, Turkey offers a unique combination of treatment and vacation.

Since ancient times, people benefited from thermal springs in Anatolia. Even some settlements were built up near thermal springs. For example, Hierapolis ancient city was built up near thermal springs found around Pamukkale.

Characteristics and Benefits of Thermal Institutions in Turkey:

  • Availability during 12 months.
  • Presence of qualified institutions
  • Besides their using on treatment, presentation of amusement and rest opportunity
  • Because of closeness of thermal springs to the sea, integration of treatment with the other tourism activities.


  • Respiratory System Diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, chronic bronchitis…
  • Dermatological diseases such as eczema, acne, psoriasis…
  • Musculoskeletal diseases such as calcification, joint diseases, rheumatism…
  • Cardiovascular system diseases such as coronary failure, vascular disorder, hypertension, arterial diseases…
  • Stomach and intestine diseases such as stomach diseases, diabetes, obesity, gout, liver failure…
  • Kidney and urological diseases such as chronic cystitis, chronic kidney stones, functional failure…
  • Gynaecological diseases such as diseases of genital area, infertility, postoperative diseases, menstrual bleeding disorders, genital discharge…
  • Neurological diseases such as spinal diseases, traumatic lesions, stroke rehabilitation, rheumatismal diseases, general muscle and fatigue aches
  • Detox effect
  • People whose bodies get stronger with purification get over the negative effects of diseases.
  • The most important characteristic of thermal springs treatment is that it increases the life quality.


With industrialization, lifetime and life quality of human have been increased. This causes that elderly population is gradually increased. Lifetime was about 20 years in ancient times. In the beginning of 1900, it was increased to 35 and in 1950 it was increased to 68. Nowadays, average lifetime in western societies reaches 80 years. The most important reasons are that using of new energy resources, artificial fertilization and developing technology cause getting more efficiency in agriculture and well nourishment of people and that the diseases causing massive deaths become treatable.

According to some researches, elderly people have created an original culture. Nowadays, elderly people profile is more different compared to the past. Today world’s elderly people are more modern and they prefer to benefit from the opportunities offered by life by living actively, travelling, carrying out natural and cultural activities instead of living passively.

Tourism for disabled people

As elderly population has increased, the population of disabled people has also shown increase. In every society, disabled people compose %10 of total population. A few of these people are congenital disabled. Most of them have become disabled because of the reasons occurring in adulthood stage.

As developed countries realized the arrangements which would meet largely social and economical needs of disabled people, travelling to other countries does not pose a economical problem to disabled people. For a disabled, the unique obstacle is that the country where this person will travel does not have a suitable environment and physical structure.

Tourism for Elderly and Disabled People in Turkey

Some researches realized on disabled and elderly people show that subjects like intensely animals, nature, culture, and history and city tours. In view of these likings, it is certain that Turkey has a great potential.

As Turkey is located in a place connecting Asia and Europe Continents, was home to many civilization in the past, have four seasons simultaneously, have thermal springs resources, Turkey is a attraction centre for disabled and elderly tourists.