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22 ‘medical tourism’ deaths prompt UK gov’t to issue travel warning for Turkey

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The UK government has issued a travel warning for Turkey following the death of 22 British citizens over the past several years who travelled to the country for medical tourism, Euronews reported.

“We are aware of 22 British nationals who have died in Turkey since January 2019 following medical tourism visits,” the UK government says on its travel advice page for the country.

Tourists are advised to stick to medical providers who are approved by Turkey’s Ministry of Health rather than private companies that have a financial interest in arranging medical treatment abroad.

The term “medical tourism,” sometimes called “health tourism,” refers to tourists heading abroad for medical treatment. Cosmetic surgery, dental procedures and cardiac surgery are among the most common procedures.

According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, more than 640,000 health tourists visited Turkey in 2021, bringing in almost $1 billion in revenue.

This makes Turkey one of the world’s leading destinations for dental tourism, with some of the treatment under fire, with 150,000 to 250,000 foreign patients flocking to the country every year for dental treatment, according to the Turkish Dental Association.

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