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22 deaths of tourists: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a warning about trips to Turkey by one type of vacationers

A travel warning to Turkey was issued not for Ukrainian, but for British tourists. The reason is that 22 deaths as a result of “medical tourism” were registered in the resort republic between 2019 and 2022. This was reported by the British newspaper Express concerning the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Great Britain.

Turkey is a leading holiday destination not only for our fellow citizens but also for the British. Among them, not only beach and sightseeing vacations are in great demand, but also medical ones. British people who want to save on expensive cosmetic, surgical and dental procedures prefer to come to Turkey for treatment. The most popular procedures are liposuction, hair transplantation, and dental procedures.

The UK government has recently updated its travel advice to Turkey and issued a warning to medical travelers as follows: “The term ‘medical tourism’ refers to those tourists who require medical/surgical/dental treatment abroad. Cosmetic surgery, dental procedures, and cardiac surgery are the most common procedures paid for by medical tourists.

The level of medical facilities and available treatments varies greatly around the world. Therefore, UK nationals considering treatment in Turkey should do their research; it is unwise to rely on private companies that have a financial interest in arranging your treatment abroad.

We are aware of 22 British nationals who have died in Turkey since January 2019 after attending medical tourism. If you are traveling to Turkey for a medical procedure, we would advise you to refer to the HealthTurkiye portal website to select a health service provider approved by the Ministry of Health.”

British people choose Turkey for cosmetic procedures because the prices for services there are much cheaper than in Great Britain. Other popular destinations for medical tourism – India and Thailand are also popular destinations, but Brits travel less often because flights to these countries are more expensive.

Most often, tourists use ready-made package tours organized by companies, where treatment is combined with rest on the beach. However, the health authorities of Great Britain consider such a combo as a precautionary sign. In their opinion, resting on the beach after the operation is not what is needed. Post-operative rehabilitation and observation should be chosen instead, but most often tourists skimp on this and, as a result, get complications.

So, in July, British publications told frank stories about how hundreds of British dentists listed the teeth of patients who faced serious complications after undergoing treatment abroad. Some foreign dental clinics offer crowns or veneers to patients with healthy teeth, but the invasive procedure can damage the “native” teeth.

Sometimes British dentists remove themselves from responsibility for the result or even refuse to treat patients who were clients of foreign clinics. It’s all about risks.

What should alert medical tourists when choosing a foreign clinic:

  • If the company offers a “hard sell” or sells packages that include rest and treatment.
  • The compulsion to make a quick decision.
  • Not being able to speak directly with a health care provider and/or receive a pre-treatment consultation.

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