Man who died in Turkey last month seventh from Ireland to die there in two years while receiving medical treatment

Body of man who died while undergoing dental procedure in Turkey on May 28th has been repatriated

A man who died last month during a dental procedure in Turkey brings to seven the number of Irish people who have died in the country over the last two years while availing of medical or cosmetic treatment.

It is understood that the man died while undergoing a dental procedure in Turkey on May 28th and his remains have since been repatriated to Ireland. The Irish Embassy in Ankara was notified of his death and the Department of Foreign Affairs is aware of the case.

As medical tourism grows in popularity, particularly in Turkey due to lower costs, seven Irish people have now died over the past two years while they were undergoing dental and cosmetic procedures.

Sources in the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Health Service Executive are “extremely concerned” over the number of deaths that have occurred while Irish citizens are increasingly seeking treatment outside of the EU.


A HSE management source said those travelling outside of the EU for such treatment tend “not to have a GP letter or a consultant referral”. “The systems are unregulated and unregistered. They do not follow the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) guidelines,” they said.

“It is vitally important to have a GP letter explaining the patient’s medical details and to have a detailed consultant’s referral to an equivalent consultant/specialist abroad. Without those problems can happen.”

The source added: “The patients and their family have no indemnity cover, that is they are not protected or compensated if anything goes wrong against a loss or other financial burden.”

Since the Cross Border Directive (CBD), a scheme to get planned healthcare in another European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) member state, was introduced in 2014, just two people have died. One person died in Lithuania during bariatric surgery while the second passed away in Spain while undergoing a general surgical procedure.

Under the scheme, the patient pays for necessary treatment in another EU or EEA country upfront and then applies to the HSE for reimbursement of the treatment cost.