We set our course In Africa

Liv Hospital attracted attention with its success story that followed its inception 2 years ago. Liv Hospital Group Manager for International Services Hakan Arslanyuregi talks about this success story and the latest developments in health sector.


Your hospital has been prioritising health tourism since its inception. Could you summarise the successes that you achieved in this short period of time?
Liv Hospital Group that started services in January 2013 continues operations in its Ulus and Ankara branches in a total area of 57 thousand square meters comprising 320 beds, 16 operation rooms and a team of 1250. We also give services in health tourism since our inception. Currently we accommodate 100-150 foreign patients in our hospitals every day. Until today, we serviced 20 thousand patients from 125 countries in total (the majority of our patients come from 35 countries). In both hospitals we have highly specialised clinics in all branches and we provide above standard medical practices. This led to a rapid recognition in the sector.
What are your 2015 targets in health tourism?
We opened our second hospital Liv Hospital Ankara at the end of 2014. Accordingly we promote Liv Ankara to all the countries we introduce the Liv brand and our specialised services. We relay our service diversity and our physicians’ special practices. Thanks to these efforts, we predict that we will double the number of patients we service. During the last two years, we organised 35 international scientific conferences and hosted the health organisations we cooperate with, as well as ministries and physicians. Subsequently we organised numerous trips from Kenya to Nigeria, Mongolia to Tajikistan in order to be acquainted with each market locally. We invited health personnel and physicians working there to our country. Through all this, we manage to attract the attention of many people thanks to the quality of our marketing efforts. 
Which channels are you using for foreign patients to reach you?
International marketing is multi-dimensional; therefore we use all instruments of marketing communication. Most important is promoting our buildings and technology in marketing and promotion activities and building a strategy basing competition on “medical results” rather than pricing. It is important to bring health issues on which you made a difference to forefront. First of all, we construct field promotion services focussed to specific countries. I believe that we should make business development and promotional programmes directed to certain clinic and treatment areas and should not only operate through agencies. Of course we use social and digital media in a multifaceted way. We guide and inform people that want to get health services through social media. 
Which countries show most demand? Which countries send the most foreign patients to our country/your hospitals?
The primary reason for foreign patients to prefer Liv is the fact that in our hospitals equipped with latest technology, doctors specialising in their branch perform numerous special treatments and surgeries. We remedy a lot of people coming from different parts of the world. Our high level technological investments, efficient diagnosis and treatment methods, qualified physicians that have the experience to apply this high level technology are big factors for patients to choose us. We accommodated a large number of patients from primarily nearby countries and European, Balkan, Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries. We have an international marketing team from 23 countries speaking 25 languages. This team’s difference is not only that they speak 25 languages but they are citizens of the countries they are responsible for. This way, our guests do not feel alone although they are hundreds of kilometres from their own countries. They are accommodated by people who know their culture, language and country. Beyond our infrastructure, technological investments and experienced physicians, our domestic and international teams and hospital personnel know how to approach patients. Our international marketing team and hospital management team are required to talk to patients, get swift approval from authorities for reports and explain the treatment to patients face to face in an effective and clear way. Therefore, you can success as much as you invest in people. Knowing the needs of different cultures, acting according to their sensibilities needs special attention and quality. Our international officials build trust about our physicians and our hospital’s infrastructure and become the patients’ family from the moment they step foot on our country until they return to the airport. They also give support on visa, hotels and accommodation, tickets, provision of reports, escorts and other services needed by family members.
In which branches do you provide services to foreign patients in health tourism? Which is the most demanded treatment?
Many progressive practices which cannot be done in most parts of the world can be easily done in our hospital. We analysed the weaknesses and shortcomings in other countries really well. Cases vary according to regional shortcomings and demands; like the cancer cases from Russia, neurosurgery cases from the Middle East, cosmetic and plastic surgery demands from Europe… As a comprehensive hospital with a focus on extreme cases enable us to demand all cases and demand in the best way.
How do you see the future of health tourism in Turkey? What are the opportunities and setbacks?
Our use of a common language increased significantly compared to 5 years ago. There are issues that need joint promotion and regulations. Turkey had to fight to prove itself in health tourism; nowadays it needs to establish and advance its leadership in the region. There are countless opportunities in the Balkan, Euro-Asian, Middle Eastern and African countries. These opportunities should be used well. Africa is very important for us. The future is there and we started to set our course towards Africa and analyse this continent.
In other words, there are other steps to be taken…
Turkish health tourism remedies many people from different parts of the world. It is rapidly becoming a brand by improving every day. Health facilities in our country became very ambitious in terms of infrastructure. Thanks to high level technological investments, most effective diagnosis and treatment methods are being offered to patients and qualified physicians integrated these high level technologies and practices to daily routine. All these factors lead to foreigners to research and use Turkish health services. Patients started to experience better and more successful medical results thanks to a better service mentality in better circumstances. The health sector has a long way to go, especially in terms of research and development. Moreover, health services management, the capability to use current technology, the capacity to apply new treatment protocols and personalised medicine to patients, high and swift service mentality carried Turkish health sector into an important place in international health services management. “Turkish health services” proved to be a global brand in the arena of international health tourism thanks to the efforts of certain brands and our skilled physicians who publish their medical results in internationally renowned publications. It is important not to just treat well but sustain bilateral health tourism; transferring know-how to countries sending patients and have the power to continue the management dimensions.


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