Çeşme to become health bridge between Turkey and the Netherlands

The rich thermal sources of the Aegean coastal town of Çeşme and the treatment facilities in the region have been the focus of attention for Dutch investors and health tourism professionals. Around 150,000 Dutch patients will come to Turkey if a health tourism project between the two countries is put into practice.

The health tourism project, a joint project by the Netherlands and Çeşme, aims to utilize Çeşme's thermal sources and treatment facilities in İzmir and Çeşme in health tourism in a most effective way as well as to make them available for Dutch patients through agreements with health insurance companies.

A group of representatives from the World Bank and Dutch finance and insurance companies came to Çeşme last week to negotiate the details of the project together with Çeşme-based private sector representatives and the local authorities. The Çeşme Altın Yunus, Ontur and Sisus hotels and Kuşadası Tour, Sun Express and Turkish airport operator TAV Airports Holding as well as Çeşme-based private and state-run hospitals, the İzmir Governorship and the İzmir Municipality are supporting the project, reported the Doğan News Agency.
İlker Yeşilmen of the Altın Yunus Hotel said health care in the Netherlands was expensive and the treatment of people over the age of 65 was covered by insurance companies. “Treatment could be provided in İzmir and Çeşme, home to rich thermal spas with facilities for therapeutic treatments and well-equipped hospitals, in a cost-effective way. Dutch tourists can thus enjoy the region's natural beauty and recover for a reasonable price in Çeşme. The project will contribute to the economy of Çeşme and İzmir,” he said.

Yeşilmen said they had already reached a consensus with Dutch representatives in the delegation for the treatment of 1.5 million patients over the age of 65 in Çeşme.

“We are trying to realize the project as soon as possible. Patients will come to Çeşme via tours and receive treatment for a day at hospitals in Çeşme and in İzmir and stay at hotels supporting the project,” he noted.
İZMİR - Turkish Daily News