TBY talks to Cengiz Bozca, General Manager of Emsey Hospital, on the wide range of services that need to be offered to encourage higher foreign patient numbers.

Cengiz Bozca
Cengiz Bozca was born in Afyon province in 1960. After he graduated in Economics, he engaged in top-level managerial jobs in accounting and finance for many years. He took part in the founding of Turkey’s first five-star thermal hotel, and was also its general manager. Before his current position, he was a top-level executive in the construction sector.

How would you characterize Emsey Hospital's approach to patient care?

Our main priority is the health of the patient as well as our ethical values. In this regard, it is very important to us that we don't send patients away if we don't find anything. We tell the patients that we will try to find out what the problem is, because the greatest challenge within treatment is when it comes to diagnostics. We think like the patient, so if the patient demands we find the problem, we will find it. We believe that the most important point is the value of a human life. We have to provide the required value to patients. We believe that we have the highest standards when it comes to this. If a patient comes to the hospital and doesn't leave with a smile, then we have failed. This makes the patient very happy and they are not afraid, but relaxed about coming here. Also, when patients come here they see our smiles.

What role does Emsey Hospital play in Turkey's domestic healthcare system?

This is a general hospital and we have all the best facilities, including some unique specialties. For example, we have the first A-plus-class intensive care unit (ICU) for newborns in Turkey. Most of the beds in our hospital are for the ICUs. We have approximately 200 beds at Emsey Hospital and approximately 100 of them are ICU beds. You can't make money with ICUs, but you can serve the community. Every country needs ICUs. The other specialty in our hospital is oncology. We have doctors who are very talented in our oncology unit. Professor Ayşen Timurağaoğlu, who is the Head of our Hematological Department, is the President of the European Hematological Association. We are a leading hospital in bone marrow and stem cell transplants, because very few hospitals in the region have the resources to carry one out. Another experienced member of our hospital is Professor Erkan Topuz, who is one of world's leading oncologists. Spinal surgery is extremely difficult to do, but we have an excellent team including neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and physical therapists. These are the leading sectors of Emsey Hospital.

How has your background in the hospitality industry helped Emsey Hospital to become a leader in medical tourism?

My background prior to health care was in the hospitality industry. I am one of the best-known hotel managers in the country, and I was the manager of the first five-star thermal hotel in Turkey. I am a businessman who knows finance and accounting, and I come from the service industry. These two important points have made me very successful in my position. All over the world, the most important issue for hospitals is to have a good manager that knows business administration and the service industry. At Emsey Hospital, we have everything in one place. Patients come from many countries. Right now, 40% of our patients are international. However, in the near future, we expect more than half of our patients to be foreign. Often, our patients have not been able to find the ideal solution to their problem in their home country, so they come to us. They find themselves very relaxed here, and they can even eat food according to their cultures. We try to give them the highest-level hotel services even including laundry services. They have private rooms, bathrooms, Wi-Fi, mini bars, LED TVs, a telephone, and even a safety box.

For international patients, what advantages does Emsey Hospital provide over hospitals in Western Europe?

We are very inexpensive and quick compared to Europe, and we have excellent service. Some of our patients have gone to hospitals in leading EU countries, but have been frustrated with the slow service. In many European countries, you could wait six months for a hip replacement or a knee prosthesis. Here, we can perform both of those surgeries immediately. In one case, a patient who had a very serious and time-sensitive condition was waiting for five hours at a hospital in Western Europe, so we told him to fly directly here and we saw him immediately. Health cannot wait.