UK Government urges health tourists to be cautious when travelling to Turkey for treatment

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The UK Government has updated travel advice for those considering travelling to Turkey for medical or dental treatment.

New guidelines encourage individuals to carry out research and choose providers and clinics approved by the Ministry of Health in Turkey. The guidance, which is available online, also states that there have been more than 20 British deaths in Turkey since 2019 as a result of health tourism.

Turkey has been a popular destination for travellers looking to save on cosmetic treatments for many years but in the last few years, numbers have soared. The main draw is the potential to save a substantial amount of money. In some cases, prices are up to 70% lower than in the UK. New clinics that cater for health tourists usually have no waiting lists and they often market services as part of enticing holiday packages with travel and accommodation offers included.

In 2022, there was a spate of news stories about dental tourism in Turkey and stories shared by people who had visited the country to have treatment went viral on social media. Many people said they had troubles after getting home to the UK and others were surprised to find out they had undergone a different type of treatment to the one they planned. This was most common in the case of crowns and dental implants. Some patients were facing bills of over £20,000 to rectify problems following treatment.

Dental and medical tourism can offer benefits and many people have a positive experience, but the guidance from the UK Government is designed to protect individuals and reduce risks. Anyone who is thinking about travelling anywhere overseas to have treatment should look for a reputable, approved clinic and experienced care providers.

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