The government is warning against overseas travel for breast implants, liposuction and other cosmetic procedures following the deaths of 17 Britons since 2019. Turkey has become a major medical tourism destination with thousands of travelers undergoing dental treatment and cosmetic surgery each year.
Medical tourists make the trip to places like Turkey, Thailand or India to save money on cosmetic treatments that would otherwise be more expensive in the UK. Health tourism is a booming business that continues to grow as self-conscious Britons pack their bags to travel overseas in hopes of saving money on treatment.
Popular surgical procedures include liposuction, breast implants, rhinoplasty, and dental work. Turkey attracts a large number of Britons seeking dental veneers, hair transplants and BBL (Brazilian buttock lift) surgery.
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As reported by To express, the UK government has issued an updated medical tourism warning and advice after the deaths of 17 Britons who traveled to the country to undergo medical procedures. The Commonwealth Foreign Office says: “The level of medical facilities and treatment available varies widely across the world.
“As such, UK nationals considering undertaking medical treatment in Turkey should conduct their own research. It is not advisable to rely on private companies who have a financial interest in organizing your medical treatment abroad.
“We are aware of 17 UK nationals who have died in Turkey since January 2019 as a result of medical tourism visits. If you are traveling to Turkey to undertake a medical procedure, you should ensure that the medical institution you have chosen is accredited with the Turkish authorities.
“You can find a list of approved establishments at the General Directorate of Health Services website.”
Medical services provided by Turkey are generally cheaper by up to 70% compared to those offered in the UK. Although there are some very good medical service providers in Turkey, the quality of medical facilities can vary greatly. The government is advising Britons to avoid potentially being misled by carrying out due diligence and research before travelling.
Verifying that a clinic is registered with the Turkish authorities and understanding what levels of aftercare are available for the treatment in question are key steps in protecting your health. Researching reviews and testimonials about the clinic you have chosen will also help you get an idea of the provider in question.
In the UK, patients face long waiting times for popular treatments such as hair transplants and breast implants, and significant costs if they opt for private treatment. The waiting time is massively reduced to just a few weeks in Turkey.
Not only is it faster to be seen in Turkey, but cheaper accommodation and overseas flights mean Britons could save even more money than on the medical procedure itself.
Advice issued by the National Travel Health Network and Center states: “People considering travel for treatment should discuss their plans carefully with their UK doctor, dentist or hospital specialist before embarking on any procedure overseas. Travelers should speak directly to the medical professional undertaking the planned treatment prior to travel and independently verify their qualifications and references.
“Medical advice from a travel agent or administrator is unacceptable. Appropriate travel medical insurance is essential.
Traveling abroad for surgery is not recommended by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. This is due to the increased risk of complications and the availability of follow-up care abroad.