U.S. DOC Organizes Trade Mission to Turkey
In May next year, U.S. medtech companies will participate in a trade mission in Turkey hosted by the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce (U.S. DOC). The Department sees Turkey as a region rich with sales opportunity for companies producing advanced imaging, diagnostics, or point-of-care devices; surgical devices using robotics technology; oncological products; clinical chemistry and laboratory devices and reagents; implants used in orthopedics and trauma; HealthIT and Mhealth systems; remote patient monitoring devices; and telemedicine systems.
Turkey has been identified as an attractive destination for U.S. healthcare exports. With a population close to 80 million people and a healthcare spend per capita that has grown in the last decade from $330 to $780, Turkey has an expanding middle class that is willing to spend more on health services.
Since 2002, Turkey’s healthcare system has undergone a major transformation due to the Ministry of Health initiatives to encourage private sector investments in healthcare and renovate or rebuild many of 900 Ministry-operated hospitals. Today, there are 500 private hospitals. In addition to fulfilling local demand, these hospitals attract many international patients.
The Turkish Ministry of Health is also installing and expanding the Health IT infrastructure in Turkey. Currently there is an electronic patient record system in place whereby each patient’s health information is kept in a database maintained by the Ministry. Prescriptions are issued electronically, and telemedicine services have begun to offer healthcare services to more remote parts of the country. In short, according to the assessment of the U.S. DOC, this is a country that is progressive in its healthcare vision and is investing towards shaping a quality-driven, accessible and efficient healthcare system.
The U.S. Commercial Service Trade mission aims to help U.S. companies meet with the right business partners in Turkey. The Medical Technologies Trade Mission scheduled for May 4-8, 2014 begins in Turkey’s capital of Ankara, proceeds to the major Aegean port city Izmir, and concludes in Istanbul. The program includes an Embassy briefing, networking events with industry and business associations, and site visits to public and private hospitals. The U.S. DOC promises to schedule business matchmaking appointments tailored to each company’s goals, including appropriate government meetings. Participants will also have the option to meet with commercial service officers and potential customers from the broader region, including Bulgaria, the Caucasus and Central Asia.