Foreign patients in Turkey on rise with organ transplant network
The number of patients visiting Turkey for organ transplant has doubled with the International Transplant Network (ITN) project, initiated two years ago by the Turkish Transplant Foundation (TOVN) and the Health Ministry. There has been a significant rise in the number of patients seeking kidney and liver transplant in Turkey from other countries, recent data shows. For the project, the TOVN is continuously organizing workshops and events with other participating countries including Ukraine, Mozambique, Greece, the United Arab Emirates, Bosnia and Romania. The ITN aims to provide equal opportunities to patients for organ transplant, especially in developing or least developed countries, and encourages the establishment of better organ transplant networks around the world. The ITN has also contributed to improving Turkey's health tourism potential, with more than 70 countries supporting the initiative so far. International physicians have the chance to visit Turkish hospitals to see organ transplant surgeries and at the same time meet with Turkish physicians for networking. TOVN Chairman Eyüp Kahveci said Turkey has received more than 500 patients for kidney and liver transplants this year, while this number had been limited to 200 in previous years. For the latest workshop, Turkey hosted physicians and health professionals from 10 countries including Iran, and from African countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Guinea.