Home Healthcare Meri Istiroti | Liv Hospital Group Coordinator

Meri Istiroti | Liv Hospital Group Coordinator

It’s no secret that Turkey is one of medical tourism destinations. Turkish clinics and doctors offer high-level service and treatment. Where Does Turkey Stand In Innovative Approach For Obtaining Patient Care?

Because of Turkey’s cost advantages in recent years, having a lot of destinations to visit, quality health care and due-date technological infrastructure, it is the leading choice of international patients. The size of health tourism in the world is around $ 100 billion. In the sector, it is expected that 25 million people will travel in 2025 due to health needs, and per capita income in health tourism is 12 times higher than vacationers. Since, in particular, the infrastructure of healthcare institutions in our country becoming too ambitious, providing the most effective diagnosis and treatment with high-level technological investments made, physician’s implementing this high-end technology and applications to their daily practices, citizens of different countries started to wonder and use the health care services in Turkey. With the courage they gained from it, the leading health institutions in our country also have started to market these infrastructure and services. As a result of these promotional activities and studies they started without public support, the number of foreign patients coming to our country started to increase rapidly. Our country is now preferred not only for aesthetic surgery, dental treatments, eye surgeries, but also for high-risk treatments. Many advanced applications that are not performed in every region of the world can be easily done. Robotic treatment of advanced ear operations, stomach, intestine, colon, rectum, uterus, ovary, kidney, prostate cancers, performing tremor surgeries, successful robotic obesity surgeries, application of stem cell therapies are just some of them.

What messages would you like to give about Turkey as a medical tourism center?

Our strongest position as a country in health tourism is to provide diagnosis and treatment services by combining current technology with experienced and highly specialized physician staff. We also have very successful results in specific areas such as robotic surgery, cancer therapies, advanced brain surgery, stem cell applications that will demonstrate our strength in high-risk treatments. But in order to be stronger in health tourism in the country, tourism agencies of foreign countries and the health services providers in our country have to work hand in hand more effectively, therefore health tourist can be convinced about obtaining health service by offering service recommendations before the tourist leaves his/ her country, we have to work more cooperatively about this issue.

So far you have had a very successful history in the health management industry. If you had worked in the sector for more than 28 years, what would you highlight to our international audience as your greatest success to date?

I have been working in the health sector for 28 years. After graduating from the Psychology Department of Boğaziçi University, I received my master’s degree in Health Management at Istanbul University and Bahçeşehir University. I have worked in many hospitals such as International Hospital, American Hospital, and Bayındır Holding-affiliated Yasinkent. I took part in the opening of many new hospitals in Acıbadem Healthcare Group. When I left the group as the Assistant General Manager, the institution had 9 hospitals and 24 branches, Health Insurance Company, University, a project company that made turnkey hospital works, and many health-oriented group companies. Since 2012, I am working as Liv Hospital Group Coordinator. One of the most important things for me when Liv was opening was creating a new brand. I have transferred all my experiences that I have gained through the years in health from A to Z entirely. That’s why Liv Hospital has a very different place in my professional life. It was a great pleasure and experience to see the birth and growth of the Liv brand, like giving birth to and raise a child. I think the biggest impact here is that although I have spent 28 years in the sector for 28 years, I never lost my amateur and innovative point of view. Everything is done by loving a job, and doing it by heart, as long as you do not lose the child spirit inside you and listen to that child’s voice, your age, your experience, your business connections, making an attempt at the right time, the right place, the right step. So, all of these combines and brings you to the target.

Which medical tourism topics do you find most interesting and why?

Networks are very important instruments for this sector. They work as your guide for the internal dynamics of the country in question. For this reason, they are of key importance both socially and commercially. International marketing uses all instruments of multi-dimensional marketing communication. Most importantly, implementing a strategy based on “medical results” rather than introducing the building and technology and making the competition with cost in the marketing and promotion studies. It is very valuable to be able to put whatever areas you catch differences in health area, to forefront. I believe that the business development and promotion programs for certain clinical and treatment areas should be done and not advancing only just through agencies. Of course, social and digital media also need to be uses multi-dimensionally. We direct and inform you through social media. As Liv Hospital, we are making these investments in order to transfer the health experience we have created to developing countries, to raise the health care level one more step in these regions and to facilitate the access of patients to Turkish doctors in their own countries. Reinforcing our country’s leadership in health tourism is another important goal. We plan these selections according to the dynamics, needs, investment capacity of the country as a hospital active in 2 countries. The needs and investment efficiency of these two countries are the reason for our decision.

How long long-term plans do you have, professionally and personally?

I have a dream to establish and operate a pediatric hospital. Investors want to proceed through general hospital management and local development. I’m sure, it will come to children’s hospital, too. That’s a project I want so much. If Turkey makes such an investment, it can be an incredible center of attraction. We have very good doctors in this field, by this way we can bring them together.

If you could do another job, what would you do and why?

I’m working in an open company 24/7. My phone can never be turned off. Phone traffic continued even in the birth processes of my two children. When you get sick, you can’t say “I’m sorry, I’m sick”. It’s a risky area and it’s not open to mistakes. On the other hand, the spiritual value is very high. As with every institution, there are financial results. But at the end of the day, we care about how many people we healed. After working in the field of health and swallowing the hospital dust, it feels like another sector does not give the same satisfaction. I had a phase when I felt anger and had weakness. When I stopped and thought, ‘What could I do in another sector?’ I continued on this road. I thought I had a mission. I’m not a health professional, but I’ve studied psychology. We had a metaphysics and philosophy lecturer, Bilge Şeker, I took 2 of his classes. One day, he asked ‘What is the purpose of your life?’ in class. I said to him, “I don’t know the purpose of my life.” I tried to expose something divine, but it didn’t work. Then I realized that I live in my purpose. I touch people, that’s why I don’t give up. This is the most romantic side of hospital management.