For Turkey’s Medical Tourists, Sightseeing and Hair Transplants – Voice of America

When you walk around Istanbul’s famous Taksim Square, men with bands around their heads are not an uncommon sight. The locals know by now that the men have just received hair transplants.

Even though general tourism has suffered in Turkey due to recent terrorist attacks, medical tourism continues to thrive. In 2016, more than 152,000 people came to Turkey for medical tourism, according to statistics from the Turkish Health Ministry.

Jordanian Khaled Saleh is one of the thousands of people who came to Turkey not only for a visit, but also to get a hair transplant.

“If I want to make the same surgery in my country, it’s going to cost me $5,000. I spent $1,100 here,” says Saleh. “It was very cheap and helpful. The team was very helpful. We also come here for tourism. We feel safe in Turkey. Police is everywhere, helping us. Also, the tourism — Istanbul is a magnificent city.”

A hair transplant procedure in Istanbul, Turkey.

A hair transplant procedure in Istanbul, Turkey.

Medical tourism consultant Emre Ali Kodan lists the reasons why Turkey is one of the top medical tourism destinations.

“High quality service, affordable prices, surpassing Europe in medical technology, cultural proximity to Middle East, experience of doctors,” he says.

Kodan says about 5,000 people received hair transplants each month in 2016, and up to 80,000 people are projected to receive hair transplants in 2017.

WATCH: video from Istanbul