Foreign & Commonwealth Office updates health and dental tourism travel advice for Turkey after 17 deaths recorded

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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated its travel advice for Brits seeking to undergo medical and dental treatment in Turkey after seventeen deaths were recorded in the last 3 years.

The FCO is advising all British nationals who are considering going to Turkey for medical or dental treatment to carry out extensive independent research to lower the risks of botched treatment, side effects and complications during and after treatment. The new guidelines encourage people to avoid using companies, which “have a financial interest” in organising treatment packages abroad.

In the last decade, medical and dental tourism have become much more popular. Turkey is one of the top countries for Brits to visit for treatment, with prices up to 70% lower than in the UK. The most popular treatments include dental services, such as implants, crowns and smile makeovers, and cosmetic procedures, including breast augmentation, liposuction, tummy tucks, facelifts and Brazilian butt lifts.

The revised FCO guidance confirms 17 deaths directly linked to medical and dental tourism since January 2019. There have also been several reports of tourists returning to the UK and requiring remedial treatment.

On the government website, the updated advice states that “the standard of medical facilities and available treatment vary widely around the world” and urges British nationals to carry out their own research, focusing on accredited clinics, which are registered with Turkish authorities and listed on the Health Services General Directorate website. The National Travel Health Network and Centre also advises medical and dental patients to seek expert advice in the UK before committing to treatment overseas.

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