A state-of-the-art Turkish hospital, Medipol, has launched health services for foreigners living in Turkey under its social responsibility program, Anadolu News Agency reports.
Medipol currently provides services to more than 35,000 health tourists from 115 countries annually, mainly from the US, Europe, the Balkan region, Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and other Turkic Republics, the Middle East and Africa, Uygar Ustun, the Marketing and International Patient Services Coordinator, said in a press release on Wednesday.
With the new project, the hospital will offer all the services available to health tourists to foreigners residing in Turkey at an affordable cost.
Foreigners residing in Turkey should not be seen as health tourists, Ustun said.
Turkey is one of the leading countries in health tourism, thanks to the advanced health services based on technology and expertise, he said.
Foreigners, including students and employees of many companies, reside in Turkey, he stressed.
According to government data, a total of 1.24 million foreigners live in Turkey with a residence permit, he said.
Nearly one million of them live with short term residence permit, 90,898 of them with student residence permit, 90,000 of them with family residence permit and 146,709 of them with other residence permits, he explained.
He added: "Only 645,978 foreign nationals reside in Istanbul, while some of these people benefit from health insurance like Turkish citizens with the Social Security Institution, most of them do not have it."
This patient group, which is seen in the health tourist category by many institutions, should actually be outside this category, he underlined.
"We have excluded foreigners residing in our country from the category of health tourists," he added.
The hospital conducted a study on foreigners living in Turkey.
He said: "Perhaps a large part of this patient group cannot even access a service in their own language.
"We decided that this patient group should also benefit from our international team of 250 people and the service we offer in 33 different languages."