Türkiye’de Sağlık Turizmine Yönelik Uygulamaların Paydaş Görüşleri ile Değerlendirilmesi
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In recent years, many people have visited different countries in order to access better quality, higher technology, and cheaper healthcare services compared to their own country. This situation has caused alternative health tourism to gain importance. The production, consumption, and circulation of healthcare services at the international level have always existed throughout history. But today, the globalization process, which has gained momentum with the development of information and communication technology, has further increased the international circulation of patients and created a serious market focused on health tourism. Health tourism covers three dimensions; healthcare services, hotels, and travel, and this emerging sector provides an important opportunity for participating countries to develop economic growth and infrastructure with attractive policies and the right marketing strategies. Turkey aims to be a leading country with its well-equipped hospitals to operate in the field of health tourism, its geographical location, the policies it implements within the scope of the health transformation project, and the developments it provides in the provision of healthcare services in this direction. Especially when looking at African countries and their neighbors in the eastern regions, Turkey stands out in terms of health tourism with its quality healthcare service, trained manpower, and advanced technology it uses. The long waiting times in Western countries, the relatively expensive health services and the narrowing of insurance coverage make Turkey attractive in the field of healthcare. This makes it inevitable that the relatively new concept of health tourism will be given importance to sectoral development as well as academic development, and it makes it a guiding sector based on more robust theoretical foundations. In this study, we have been examined the current situation of health tourism in Turkey. The paper is structured as follows; the development process, experienced problems, the obstacles and threats in its development, and the opportunities encountered. The leading countries in health tourism in the world have been evaluated, and suggestions have been made within the framework of the content analysis made in terms of the development of Turkey's situation in this region. The descriptive statistics of the data obtained from the Ministry of Health and the qualitative analysis of the semi-structured interviews with the public and private health tourism stakeholders determined within the scope of the research are included. This study was carried out due to the need for a comprehensive study that will present the current situation regarding the development of health tourism in Turkey with international comparisons, analyze and interpret important stakeholder views in order to shed light on future policies, and provide useful information to all relevant stakeholders in this direction.