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Patients without borders

Medical tourism offers tremendous savings to insurers and patients, but the business is falling well short of great expectations

Greg Langley
© Bruno Alexander
White-veiled woman showing lips

Patients without borders

Medical tourism offers tremendous savings to insurers and patients, but the business is falling well short of great expectations

Greg Langley

TURKISH TRANSFERS

Far west of Thailand, Turkey is seen as an up-and coming country for medical tourism. The Health Ministry is hoping to increase visitor numbers to 2 million by 2023. Many of the patients come from lraq and Libya, but expatriates returning from Germany also make a sizeable section of the business. Allianz Turkey is seeking to improve cross-country medical insurance. “Many Turkish guest workers in Germany spend their holidays back home. Merging our contracts with those of Allianz Germany could reduce the cost both for them and us when tourists seek treatment in Turkey,” says Oktay Atay, head of health claims, health provision and provider network management with Allianz Turkey.

MEDICAL INSURANCE WHILE IN THAILAND

Allianz Global Assistance (AGA) is seeking regulatory approval to insure non-Thai patients against unexpected complications such as hematoma, and internal and external infections while being treated in Thailand. Estimating 900,000 medical tourists annually, AGA Thailand CEO Steve Watkins hopes to win close to 500,000 of them as clients over the mid- to long-term.

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