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Turkish Healthcare and medical system

The quality of Turkish Healthcare has significantly improved over the past decades to the point where Turkey is now a regional leader in healthcare services.

Turkey, a focused healthcare destination with superior technology, treats thousands of foreign patients from the Middle East and Europe every year. Turkey has pursued medical superiority and solid expertise to create quality care for patients. Trying to become a global competitor with other health service providers so it can reach excellence locally and globally.

If you’re planning a trip or coming to Turkey for medical treatment, you must know a few things about the healthcare system.

Getting medical care in Turkey as a foreigner

The Ministry of Health runs all health services in Turkey. When compared to other countries like the US, Germany, and England, Turkey is a strong competitor in Healthcare. According to current statistics, Turkey is a low-cost health provider. Let me give you an example.Consider the following scenario if you were to undergo a heart bypass surgery:

  • It would cost approximately $129,750.00 in the United States.
  • It would cost $17,355.00 in Germany,
  • It would cost $27,770.00 in England.
  • A heart bypass surgery in Turkey ranges from $12,000 to $15,000.

Refrain from assuming that a lower price indicates a lower level of quality. Thousands of Turkish and foreign medical students are being trained at 60 internationally competitive medical faculties in Turkey. In turn, this training allows Turkey to reach certification standards for doctors, which ensures successful medical results. Many major pharmaceutical companies are already in Turkey, like Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Johnson & Johnson.

Turkish Healthcare for ex-pats

Is Turkish medical care good for ex-pats?
The quality of medical care in Turkey is exceptional. For ex-pats, both state and private Healthcare are highly accessible, with private Healthcare being incredibly affordable.

  • SGK (Sosyal Guvenlik Kurumu), the Turkish State Health Cover, is available for ex-pats who have lived in Turkey for at least one year. As of January 2019, the monthly fee was 618.00TL and covered the whole family. The SGK can be used to pay for private hospital treatment and cover state hospital admissions.
  • Like a local doctor’s office, every town or village has a family health center (aile). These family health centers are generally called Saglik Ocagi or Aile Sagligi Merkezi, and consultations are free with a residence permit or passport.
  • Additionally, many private doctor’s offices and polyclinics (health centers with more than one specialist) are competitively priced. Because English is widely spoken, these are usually better suited to foreigners and ex-pats.
  • Tourists and locals can get emergency treatment at devlet hastanesi (state hospital), but admissions aren’t free. Private clinics and Saglik Ocagi (family health centers) can refer patients to the state hospital for specialist care. These public hospitals are generally good but can be chaotic and intimidating to tourists with little English. Patients staying overnight are usually expected to bring their carers and food. Both tourists and residents can get emergency care for free, but admissions cost. SGK covers residents.

In addition to devlet hospitals, private hospitals like Acibadem and the American Hospital in Bodrum provide ambulance and walk-in emergency care, but they’re more expensive. For tourists, make sure their holiday insurance covers them, and residents with SGK should check what discounted rates are available. Patients come to Turkey for plastic surgery and specialist operations because the private hospitals are of a high standard and have lower rates than those in the U.K., Europe, and the U.S.

In Turkey, how do I schedule an appointment with a doctor?

Each of the above locations can be accessed by walking in or searching online for a telephone number to make an appointment. You can make an appointment for the devlet hastanesi by calling 182 or booking online at or downloading the ‘182 Merkezi’ app. Family centers are generally open Monday through Friday from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm and cater to walk-ins.

Where can I find a medical specialist in Turkey?
You can either get a referral from any of the doctors’ surgeries or clinics mentioned above or go to a public (devlet) or private hospital.

How’s dental care in Turkey?
Turkey has excellent dental treatment, making it a popular dental holiday destination. Most people opt to have crowns and implants done here because it’s 50 to 70 percent cheaper than in the U.K., Europe, and the U.S. There are a lot of dentists who speak excellent English.

What is the Turkish prescription system?
Residents over 18 who are registered with SGK (see above) only have to pay between 10 and 20 percent of the cost of certain prescribed medicines. Some private health policies only cover a percentage of prescription medicine costs, while others cover them. SGK has a new digital system that links doctors’ prescriptions to ex-pats’ Turkish I.D.s (Kimlik).

What is the cost of medication in Turkey?
Medicines for most traditional medicines appear to be cheaper than their equivalents in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States. However, less standard medicines that come from abroad can be prohibitively expensive, but ex-pats may be covered by either their SGK or private healthcare policies.

Turkey’s healthcare system for visitors

Just In case of a medical emergency in Turkey, there is some crucial health information you should be aware of.

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control, all international travelers should get up-to-date immunizations. If you might be in contact with blood or bodily fluids, talk to your doctor about vaccinations to protect yourself.
  • If you don’t have travel insurance, you’ll have to bring enough money for any medical visits you make on your trip. Turkey’s medical services are notably less expensive than those in the U.S. and some European countries, but they can still add up if you need more preparation.
  • Plan your trip around or near a private hospital since they’re the least expensive, have short waiting times, and speak English more frequently than public than public ones. Turkish hospitals are all equipped with cutting-edge technology.

Are you going to Turkey for medical treatment?
There’s no need to feel alone. Medical tourism in Turkey has become one of Europe’s top destinations. Their hospitals and medical facilities have quality doctors, some of whom are U.S. board certified. There are about 600 private hospitals in Turkey, and the best ones cater to international patients. Here are some key points to consider if you need to see a doctor outside your country’s medical facilities when traveling to Turkey.

  • Finding a doctor who can accommodate your needs will be easier if you know your diagnosis and treatment needs.
  • Search appropriate physicians. When you have selected a candidate, contact them directly and speak with them.
  • Ensure everything is in writing, including the cost, opinions, and recommendations. You will likely have a better understanding if you have more information in writing.
  • It would help if you always insisted on using a language you are familiar with. To communicate your medical needs, brushing up on your Turkish language skills is not advisable. Fortunately, English is spoken in most Turkish medical facilities, so there should be no miscommunications.
  • Plan your trip without having an exact time frame in mind. It’s best to figure out one extra day for every five days you spend if you’re delayed because of a medical issue or recovery time.
  • It can cost a lot of money with airlines and other accommodations.
  • You can get specific accommodations or rooms in the hospital based on your needs.
  • Most rooms have adjustable beds, internet, T.V., safe boxes, nurse call buttons, and air conditioning.
  • If you’re traveling with a friend or family member, let your doctor know if they’ll be staying with you since there’s only one patient guest allowed per room, and it needs to be approved by your doctor. In most hospitals, you can request special needs through your nurse or receptionist. They can usually accommodate you if you need worship, a translator, or a daily newspaper.

There’s a lot of medical help in Turkish pharmacies.
You can usually find Eczane (pharmacies) on most street corners in Turkey. It’s the pharmacist’s job to listen to your complaints and make a diagnosis or recommendation. They’ll refer you to a hospital if they think you need it. You can also get over-the-counter medications from the pharmacist that would otherwise need a prescription.

In the event of an emergency in Turkey
Of course, this will depend on the type of emergency. However, an ambulance should be called immediately if the emergency is severe or an accident has occurred. Talk to the receptionist if you’re staying at a resort or hotel. If that doesn’t work, call for help. An ambulance will be called; you can be sure.

The ambulance will take you to the nearest state hospital’s accident & emergency department. You’ll be seen right away, and there’s no charge. Not being a Turkish citizen won’t matter; you’ll be treated the same.

You’ll have to pay if you go to a private hospital in Turkey. You’ll pay less than half what private hospitals in the U.K. and most of Europe charge. The private health sector in Turkey has cheaper medical facilities and drugs than Brazil, Russia, and India (part of the BRICS).

Is it advisable to purchase private health insurance?
Although the government’s attempt to have foreign residents opt into the public health service (SGK) scheme was unsuccessful, you may want to consider it if you are an ex-pat. If you are single, it is less worthwhile. It is a good value for couples and families.

You can access the service for a small monthly fee for excellent medical care – although waiting lists for specific procedures can be long, having your health insurance is a good idea. Insurance premiums are comparable to most E.U. countries, if not a little under, and coverage tends to be good.
You have to have private health insurance if you’re under 65. You’ll need valid health insurance for the same period as your residency permit.

Travel insurance with a good health option is always a good idea if you’re traveling.

With even the U.S. as a top competitor, Turkey has become one of Europe’s top medical and Healthcare regions. Low costs and excellent facilities, treatments, and technology make them a great place to get top-notch health care. Most of their doctors are trained abroad and have U.S. certifications. Being an E.U. candidate for membership, they consistently uphold their standards of Healthcare. You’ll receive some of the best care, and we’ll treat you to the best doctors in Turkey. The short answer is that Turkey is a great place to be sick if you have to be sick.

We would be happy to assist you with your inquiries.

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