Healthcare in Turkey for expats and foreigners: medical insurance and medical tourism
Every year, thousands of foreigners from all over the world come to Turkey for medical services. In particular, it is easy to find well-educated medical professionals in the country. Learn about the healthcare system in Turkey and how to take out private health insurance
Healthcare system in Turkey is highly developed. There are many accredited health care institutions in the country that provide assistance to both citizens and foreigners. Highly qualified English-speaking staff work in the Republic of Turkey. Medical tourism is also well developed in the country, thousands of patients from all over the world come to Turkey for treatment every year.
In this article, we talk about the peculiarities of the Turkish health care system, the cost of medical services, insurance and medical tourism in the country.
E-Devlet: How to join Turkey's e-government service portal - read here.
Investing in Turkey: the best opportunities for foreigners - details here.
Read here how to make an appointment at a public clinic in Turkey.
Read more about how to choose an insurance policy for obtaining a residence permit here.
Healthcare system in Turkey
You can get medical help in Türkiye both in public and private medical institutions. Turkey's health care system is reliable, citizens and foreigners have access to medical care.
Health insurance is mandatory in the Republic of Turkey. Anyone living in the country under the age of 65 must have a health insurance policy, regardless of whether they have a Turkish passport or not, and whether they choose a private or public healthcare system.
Immigration to Turkey: what to consider before moving to Turkey from the UK - read here.
Universal health insurance in Turkey
Universal health insurance in Turkey, also called Sosyal Guvenlik Kurumu (SGK), is administered by the Ministry of Health (MOH) of the Republic of Turkey. This policy is available to all citizens and legal residents of the country.
It covers most issues in the health care system in public hospitals free of charge:
Outpatient and inpatient services
Accidents at work and occupational diseases
Pregnancy, childbirth and other related health care expenses
Discounts in private clinics and hospitals
Treatment of infectious diseases
Preventive medical services
In certain cases, Universal Healthcare even covers dental services. The insured person will have to cover only part of the cost of certain prescription drugs and outpatient services.
Also, the wife and children of the insured person under 18 years of age can receive medical assistance as part of the insurance.
How to get private health insurance in Turkey
Anyone who has lived in Turkey for one year is entitled to SGK and can register at any social security center in the country. There are about 600 centers in the Republic of Turkey, so it will be quite simple.
Get a residence permit from the migration office of your city.
Register at your local SGK office. For registration, it is necessary to provide a residence permit, passport and taxpayer identification number (TIN).
Choose a healthcare provider - any public hospital or clinic that is part of a general health insurance scheme.
Pay fees (online, by bank transfer or at the nearest SGK office).
Get a health insurance card.
How much does universal health insurance cost in Turkey?
Medical care under this policy can be obtained for a monthly fee, on average from 47 to 66 euros. The monthly cost of insurance in Türkiye for foreigners varies depending on income level and other criteria, but is usually around 2% of the monthly minimum wage.
Private health insurance in Turkey
Although universal health insurance covers a wide range of services, Turkish citizens and foreigners quite often prefer private health insurance because it offers more advantages: the highest quality of health care, shorter waiting times and fewer unexpected costs.
Private health insurance policy covers:
The cost of medical and diagnostic examination.
Hospitalization expenses – room, board, hospital beds, etc.
Expenses for medicines.
Hospital services - operations, radiology, anesthesia, microbiological studies, imaging, postoperative physiotherapy, organ transplantation, etc.
Short-term treatment (less than 24 hours) – food poisoning, drips, simple burns.
Treatment in intensive care.
The full list of services may differ depending on the treatment center and insurance policy. You can contact several companies to find out which one offers the most coverage and the best insurance premiums.
Healthcare in Turkey for tourists
The Government of the Republic of Turkey requires everyone applying for a tourist visa or entering the country on a visa-free basis to have travel insurance that will cover the entire period of their stay in the country.
Health insurance in Turkey for expats
Medical insurance is required to obtain a work or residence permit.
Health insurance for Europeans in Turkey
Foreigners with a European health insurance card will not be able to use their national insurance, as it is not valid in Turkey. However, they can take out universal health insurance or private health insurance.
Family health centers in Turkey
In Turkey, family health care centers (Aile Sal Merkezleri or ASM) are primary health care centers that provide basic health care to the local population. They are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health and are part of the state health care system.
In the Republic of Turkey, family health centers provide various health services such as prevention, evaluation, therapy and rehabilitation: general health check-ups, vaccinations, maternal and child health services, treatment of chronic diseases, minor surgeries, rehabilitation.
Cost of healthcare in Turkey for expats
The costs of medical care for foreigners in Turkey may vary depending on the type of treatment and medical facility. A visit to a doctor with an expert can cost 100-150 Turkish Lira ($12-18), while a dental examination can cost 80-100 Turkish Lira ($10-12). At the same time, the cost of treatment can differ significantly depending on the type of service and medical institution.
Medical tourism in Turkey
Turkey is the sixth most popular tourist destination in the world. Also, more than 700,000 visitors come to Turkey annually for medical care, making the country a popular destination for medical tourism. According to statistics, the number of medical tourists is expected to exceed 2,000,000 in the coming years.
Currently, more than 32% of tourists in Turkey are medical tourists.
Both citizens of less developed countries, where there is no available treatment for certain diseases, and citizens of developed countries who are looking for faster and more affordable treatment go to Turkey for treatment.
Citizens of Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Ukraine, Germany, Netherlands, Romania, Bulgaria and other European countries, as well as the Middle East and Latin America, go to the Republic of Turkey for treatment.
Turkey is a leader in health tourism, because the services here are of the highest quality and at an affordable price. Cosmetic operations and surgery are also in demand in Turkey.
Learn more about medical tourism in Turkey and its popularity here.
The cost and quality of medical services provided in Turkey are two reasons why people choose to visit or live in this country.
Turkey has public and private medical facilities and healthcare costs are relatively low compared to other countries. Expats can get medical care through public or private insurance policies, and the standard of treatment is very high.
Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:
Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in Turkey;
Personal lawyer services in Turkey;
Insurance for international students in Turkey.
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The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
Not more than 4 clients are allowed to stay at the table (excluding children under 14 years old). Unless these tables are separated by a special partition;
Self-serve is not allowed.