North Cyprus on the world health tourism map


The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) took part in the inaugural Global Healthcare Travel Forum (GHTF), which ended yesterday, enabling them to promote the country’s world-class health facilities and treatments to new audiences.

Held in the Jordanian capital of Amman under the royal patronage of King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein, the Turkish Cypriot delegation rubbed shoulders with government ministers, entrepreneurs, and medical practitioners representing 42 countries, including Brazil, Croatia, Czech, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Britain and Greece.

The three-day conference, which ran from 25 to 27 February 2017 and included a mixture of keynote speakers and an exhibition space, was themed around “The Globalisation of Medical Tourism”. The GHTF held its General Assembly on the final day, which Turkish Cypriots also participated in.

The TRNC delegation was led by the Minister of Tourism and Environment Fikri Ataoğlu and Near East University’s Ahmet Savaşan, who is the President of the TRNC’s Health Tourism Council. Its stand proved to be highly popular, with the Jordanian Prime Minister Hani Mulqi, Princess Ghaida Talal, Princess Dina Mired, and a host of health and tourism ministers among the dignitaries to visit.

The TRNC's stand at the Global Health Tourism Forum, 25-27 Feb. 2017, Amman, Jordan. Photo TRNC PIO
Fikri Ataoğlu (second right) and Ahmet Savaşan (far left) on the TRNC stand at the Global Health Tourism Forum in Amman, Jordan, Feb. 2017. Photo © TRNC PIO

TRNC annually attracts 20,000 foreign patients

Health tourism is big business globally, turning over £400 bn per year. Although a relatively new sector in North Cyprus, it is enjoying rapid growth helped by its year-round sunny climate. Cultivating a positive reputation in a number of fields, such as test tube babies, cosmetic surgery, physiotherapy, and dentistry, the TRNC now annually attracts an estimated 20,000 foreign patients.

Shameless star Tina Malone got pregnant at the age of 50 after IVF treatment in North Cyprus
Shameless star Tina Malone got pregnant aged 50 after IVF treatment in North Cyprus

In 2013, British actress Tina Malone helped publicise IVF treatments in North Cyprus when she discussed her own experience live on national TV.

The Shameless star became pregnant at the age of 50 after the successful procedure, which was administered under the medical care of UK based top Turkish consultant gynaecologist Dr. Rafet Gazvani and Clinic CIC in Famagusta, northern Cyprus.

The sector is being further boosted by advances in medical research and clinical services pioneered by TRNC universities. As a result, North Cyprus can now treat patients with cancer and heart disease, as well as expanding into new wellbeing areas such as thalassotherapy.

Near East Hospital uses latest 4D radiologic, imaging, simulation and diagnostic technology
Near East Hospital uses latest 4D radiologic, imaging, simulation and diagnostic technology

North Cyprus included in pioneering new global health guide

Last month, Savaşan announced that the TRNC’s Health Tourism Council was working on a new master plan for the sector. One of the key activities involves a partnership with Thieme Medical Publishers in Germany, who are behind the unique map2heal global health guide.

The TRNC’s medical services are currently being translated into 17 languages and will be added to the website. The country’s leading private health providers will then feature alongside their peers from 87 other countries, with patients from around the world able to make enquires and reservations directly online.