The body of an Irish woman who died following a medical procedure in Turkey has been repatriated to Ireland with assistance from the Newry-based Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust.
The woman who is understood to be a mother-of-two from the southeast region had travelled to Turkey for a medical procedure in the past month.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has said it is “aware of the case” and is providing consular services for the family. The department declined to provide any details of the death or circumstances that brought her to Turkey.
She was one of a growing number of Irish people travelling to Turkey for medical procedures which are advertised frequently on social media as being carried out by qualified personnel, without lengthy waiting times and at a fraction of the cost of similar treatments in Ireland or other EU states.
The death follows the fatality last month of Co Louth man Tony Rogers (66) who died suddenly while having dental treatment in Turkey. Mr Rogers flew to Istanbul for an emergency procedure but died after being administered an anaesthetic at a dental clinic.
A Kevin Bell Trust spokesman confirmed it had helped in the repatriation the woman’s body “about a fortnight ago”. Her funeral took place earlier this week.
The trust was established by Colin and Eithne Bell from their Newry home in memory of their son Kevin, who died as a consequence of a car collision in New York, USA, in 2013.
The trust aims to alleviate the financial hardship of bereaved families repatriating the bodies of loved ones who have died abroad in sudden circumstances. It has helped repatriate the bodies of more than 1,000 Irish people.
In an “update on deaths during medical tourism” the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said it was aware of “17 British nationals who have died in Turkey since January 2019, following medical tourism visits”.
The FCO said the term “medical tourism refers to those tourists who have chosen to have medical/surgical/dental treatment abroad”.
Cosmetic surgery, dental procedures and cardiac surgery are the most common procedures undertaken by people in pursuit of treatment abroad.
“The standard of medical facilities and available treatments vary widely around the world. As such, British nationals considering undertaking medical treatment in Turkey should carry out their own research; it is unwise to rely upon private companies that have a financial interest in arranging your medical treatment abroad,” warned the FCO.