Turkish surgeons offer treatment for Pakistani children
Born with heart defects
Antalya, Turkey: Pediatric cardiac surgeons at Turkey’s several tertiary-care hospitals have shown keen interest in performing life-saving surgeries on the Pakistani children born with congenital heart defects including Ectopia Cordis, in which heart of the child is placed outside the chest and those who are born with heart conditions like ASDs and VSDs, commonly known as hole in the heart.
“Turkey has the world’s best state-of-the-art pediatric healthcare facilities in Istanbul, Ankara and several other Turkish cities. Our surgeons are regularly performing pediatric cardiac surgeries and they can save lives of Pakistani children, born with congenital heart defects. We are less expensive as compared to European countries and America but are the best in the healthcare sector”, Prof. Dr. Teyfun Aybek, a leading Turkish cardiac surgeon, told The News at Turkish resort city of Antalya.
Talking to this scribe at Hestourex, World Health Sport Tourism Congress and Exhibition, which was held in Antalya Expo Center (AEC) from April 6-9, 2017 and attended by health experts, doctors, government functionaries and healthcare tourism operators, Dr. Teyfun Aybek said pediatric cardiac surgeons at various Turkish hospitals were regularly performing heart surgeries which were considered ‘complicated’ in other parts of the world.
A group of around 20 doctors, healthcare managers, owners and chief executives of Pakistani hospitals, healthcare tour operators and health journalists visited the Hestourex in Antalya from April 6-9, 2017 and learnt about progress and development in Turkey in the healthcare sector.
Responding to some videos and medical reports of children born with Ectopia Cordis in Pakistan during last few months, who were refused surgical treatment by various public hospitals including the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) and Aga Khan Hospital in Karachi, Dr. Teyfun Aybek said some of the Turkish hospitals including Medicana International in Istanbul could provide surgical treatment to such children.
Dr. Aybek who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of map2heal.com, a web portal of the Turkish Healthcare Travel Council (THTC), maintained that instead of going to United States and European countries like Britain or Germany, Pakistani children born with heart defects could be brought to Turkish healthcare facilities, which according to him, were as good as European and American hospitals but comparatively less expensive as compared to them.
Turkey has become the third leading healthcare tourism destinations in the world after United States and Germany during last few years after it spent around 30 billion USD in the last 15 years on improvement of its healthcare system, establishing hospital parks, brining in world’s best technologies and equipment and training of Turkish surgeons, physicians and paramedical staff to provide top quality health facilities to the international patients.
“Pakistani patients are going to United States, India, Singapore and various European Countries for complicated surgeries including liver transplants but they can liver transplants and several other sensitive surgeries at Turkish health facilities at relatively lower prices as compared to European and US hospitals”, Emin Chakmak, founding Chairman of THTC told The News at the sidelines of Hestourex at Antalya Expo Center.
The Turkish government official, who was the main force behind bringing hundreds of health experts, officials and visitors from over 55 countries of the world including Israel, African countries, Central Asian states, Far Eastern countries, Middle Eastern kingdoms and European republics, said his country was spending heavily on development of healthcare system in their country so that people visiting America and Europe could come to Turkey for availing less expensive but quality medical treatment.
“Turkish has around 54 JCI (Joint Commission International) accredited hospitals at the moment, which is second largest number of JCI accredited hospitals in any country after United States. We have largest number of PET Scan equipments in the region and other state of the art facilities for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of the patients”, Emin Chakmak claimed.
Chakmak claimed that Turkish government led-by President Erdogan was going to add 23000 more beds at the hospitals to 22 cities of Turkey in next five years under Public Private Partnership, adding that hopefully the number of tourists seeking healthcare facilities in Turkey would gradually increase in the years to come.
Inviting Pakistani patients to Turkey who are in need of liver transplants, he said a large number of Pakistanis who had their livers damaged due to epidemic of Hepatitis B and C, many were going abroad, especially to India, Singapore and United states for transplants but these patients could now visit Turkish hospitals for ‘live and cadaver liver transplants’ at affordable price by world-renowned surgeons.
“We have the honour of having Prof. Dr. Munci Kalayoglu, who is one of the finest liver transplant surgeons in the world. He performs liver transplant surgeries in both the United States and Turkey as well. But the cost of surgeries performed by Dr. Kalayoglu in Turkey is 90 percent less expensive than the US”, Emin Chakmak said.
In order to promote Pak-Turk healthcare relations, Turkish Healthcare Travel Council has started collaboration with Dr. Ziauddin Hospital in Karachi, Emin Chakmak informed, adding that in the coming days, Turkish officials would visit Pakistan and negotiate with the federal and provincial governments on enhancing collaboration in the area of healthcare tourism as well as exchange of experience in the field of medicine and surgery.
“Some of our experts and consultants are visiting Pakistan independently but that is not enough. Similarly Pakistani health experts are coming here but we need to channelize this sector for the mutual benefits of people of the both brethren nations”, THTC founding Chairman concluded.1.