Medical tourism

Turkey: The new healthcare destination for African elites

By Joséphine Dedet

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Posted on February 21, 2022 07:40

Firefox_Screenshot_2022-02-18T12-20-36.374Z Florence Nightingale Hospital in Istanbul’s Sisli district. © DR
Florence Nightingale Hospital in Istanbul’s Sisli district. © DR

The clouds are reflected on an imposing glass façade. In the vast hall of the brand new Medistanbul private clinic, two men with peeled heads wearing a black band to limit the formation of bruises are waiting to see the doctor for their post-operative check-up. Tourists from all over the world walk around Istanbul with bald heads as they wait for their hair to grow back. Hair transplants have become so common that the Turkish national carrier, which brings in cohorts of visitors in search of their lost hair, is nicknamed ‘Turkish Hairlines’.

Aminetou El Vilaly and Hamid Abdel Jelil are also sitting in the hall, checking their phones and listening to their customers.

These two young Mauritanians work as salesmen for MK Medicare, a branch of the MK group specialising in medical tourism.

As ‘guardian angels’, from the beginning to the end of the adventure, they are responsible for bringing African patients to Turkey. After transmitting their medical files to Turkish practitioners, they offer them quotes, surgeons and hospitals, and facilitate the process of obtaining visas.

(For a full price list, including Hair Transplant, Liposuction, Rhinoplasty and “Hollywood smile” see end of article)

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