Twelve health facilities from Ghana, representing the Africa Medical Tourism Council (AMTC), at the invitation of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce and Health Ankara, have participated in the just ended TravelExpo, in Ankara, Turkey.
The four-day TravelExpo was aimed at establishing a robust bridge between Turkey and the African continent, fostering the trade of medical expertise and expanding the horizon of medical tourism.
With health tourism in Africa currently valued at $20 billion a year, Ankara is rapidly emerging as a premier destination for quality healthcare.
Turkey’s commitment to the development of its health industry is evident in the digital optimization of all its medical facilities, setting a global standard for healthcare innovation.
Supported by the Ankara Chamber of Commerce and Turquaz Health, medical tourism is seen to be a lucrative service export, and the nation has created multiple avenues of health incentives to bolster trade.
Mr. Alperen Kacar, Deputy Director General, Ankara Chamber of Commerce and Turquaz Health, noted that these incentives include up to 60 per cent travel grants, travel and complication insurance, and streamlined assistance with visa processes for Africans traveling to Ankara to receive care.
He noted that the Chamber’s support extends to over 500 travel agencies and hospitals in Ankara, facilitating the care of international patients and streamlining services for foreigners, adding that this commitment underscores Turkey’s dedication to closing the gap between Western and African healthcare services.
Asst. Prof. Ömer Çağlar Yilmaz, Head of Health Ankara, indicated that these facilities, both public and private, were supported by the local government.
Dr. Kwabena Appiah-Sakyi, President of the AMTC, said the pillars of medical tourism included quality care, advanced technology, and exceptional customer service, adding that these were critical components of Turkey’s healthcare system.
Emphasizing academic exchange and partnership, Dr. Appiah-Sakyi proposed extensive programmes, including medical student fellowships, exchange programmes, and internships between African nations and Ankara.
He called for collaborative efforts, with medical professionals engaging in knowledge exchange programmes to teach and learn in African nations, fostering the transfer of skills and knowledge while aiding in the delivery of post-operative care.
Mrs. Susan Akporiaye, President, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies, endorsed the investment into African countries as a means to cultivate long term relationships and mutually beneficial development.
“The Africa Medical Tourism Council looks forward to a continued partnership with Ankara, Turkey, and other nations, fostering international collaboration in the pursuit of global healthcare excellence.”
Representatives from various African countries, including Tanzania, Nigeria, Zambia, Gambia and Uganda, also joined the AMTC in Ankara.
The AMTC had the opportunity to explore some of Turkey’s finest medical facilities, including Gazi Hospital, Medicana, Ortadoğu, Güven, Yașam Merkezi, Bayindir, HLC, and Centrum Clinic, witnessing state-of-the-art facilities and the latest technologies.
Drawing inspiration from the Gazi Hospital, the AMTC witnessed firsthand how Turkey is dedicated to healing the world.