Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities
Articles Information
Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vol.5, No.4, Dec. 2019, Pub. Date: Nov. 28, 2019
Public Administration of Health Tourism, on the Rise in Istanbul
Pages: 402-407 Views: 362 Downloads: 94
Authors
[01] Verda Tunaligil, SIMMERK Medical Simulation Center, Health Directorate of Istanbul, Republic of Turkey (TR) Ministry of Health (MoH), Istanbul, Turkey.
[02] Yasemin Cicek, Chief Administrative Office, Beykent Private Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey.
[03] Mustafa Resat Dabak, Department of Family Medicine, TR MoH Haseki Research and Training Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey.
[04] Selami Albayrak, Department of Urology, Medipol University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Abstract
INTRODUCTION: The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Turkey inaugurated the first formal structure in Health Tourism in 2010 for medical tourists and leisure travelers. Health Tourism presents opportunities for regional development. METHODS: The article elaborates on the role of local government in Istanbul, a city praised for clinical excellence, for its internationally-accredited institutions, cutting-edge medical technologies, geographic convenience, and for affordable prices. Public officials at the Health Directorate launched their first website in English in 2015. Foreign language trainings, local and international meeting participations, data management and information sharing, in conjunction with promotional activities serve to boost Health Tourism in the city. The applicability of the Turkish model presents a design for other countries. The importance of data governance is emphasized by the authorities. Istanbul Health Tourism Working Group Meetings was initiated in 2015 to facilitate collaborations. RESULTS: Within the last decade, Turkey achieved significant momentum, from 74,093 international patients of Health Tourism in 2008 to nearly 500,000 in 2018. Istanbul ranks first in the country. The city hosted between 2015 and 2016, more international patients than all other cities combined. The increase from 36,578 patients in 2008 was nearly fivefold to 177,314 in 2015, and to 157,975 in 2016. DISCUSSION: Effective branding strategies are to be launched soon, with intentions to contribute to the country’s reputation in medical practices and health care service delivery. Istanbul is ascending in global order with the ultimate goal of regional leadership. CONCLUSION: Envisioning the future, service providers and policy makers are urged to sustain and improve quality standards in international health care, be up-to-date on international health policies and patient safety issues, place more emphasis on research, facilitate public-private partnerships and international collaborations, motivate the HT workforce. For more recognition, an informed and adaptable attitude with a universal mind-set is necessary.
Keywords
International Health Services, Health Care Management, Health Policy, Governance, Foreign Patients, Ministry of Health, Health Economics
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