Healthcare in Turkey

Turkey has become a leading country in terms of healthcare in its area over the past few decades. The country doesn’t only provide healthcare services to its citizens, but also to thousands of people coming from other countries in the Middle East or Europe to receive healthcare in Turkey. 

If you’re planning to relocate or travel to Turkey, or even come to Turkey for solely medical reasons, proceed to read our post about the essential information about healthcare in Turkey for foreigners. 

Public and Private Healthcare in Turkey 

There have been great improvements in public healthcare in Turkey over the past few years. Offering a much better service now, public institutions mostly provide emergency and primary care services for free. On other occasions, though, the treatment’s expenses are funded by the state for the most part, but the patient has to pay a minimal amount, as well. These amounts can be covered by private health insurance. 

The process of receiving healthcare services at a private hospital in Turkey is usually more straightforward than it is at public institutions. The quality of the care provided in these private institutions is considerably high, as well. Getting treatments in these hospitals is more affordable than in many other countries. However, you need to have private insurance, or else you’ll be responsible for covering the expenses. Most expats and nationals of other countries that come to Turkey for medical care choose to go to these facilities.

Find the example of the costs of a heart bypass surgery in a number of countries below to illustrate how the medical expenses in Turkey differ from other countries:

  • Turkey: $12,000 – $15,000
  • Germany: $17,355
  • The United States: $129,750
  • England: $27,770

Turkey Health System for Foreigners

Foreigners traveling to Turkey or expats can benefit from both public healthcare and private healthcare. To do this, they have to obtain either private health insurance or Universal Health Insurance. It’s useful to note that the European Health Insurance Card is not valid in Turkey.

Universal Health Insurance

Healthcare in Turkey is run by SGK (the Social Security Institution). By enrolling in this scheme through Universal Health Insurance, you benefit from the most healthcare services such as emergency care or illness treatment by paying only the monthly fee.

You’re eligible to apply for SGK if you’ve completed a year as a resident in Turkey. You can do so by going to the nears social security center. When you’re enrolled in the scheme, your children younger than 18 and your spouse can also benefit from SGK’s healthcare services for foreigners. 

The following are the services provided by the Turkey healthcare system that SGK covers for foreigners: 

Family Reunification
As a main applicant, you can include your spouse, dependent children, and dependent parents under the program. They get their Golden Visa cards at the same time you do. They benefit from all the advantages and qualify to apply for citizenship at the end of five years, just like you do.

Health Turkey: Medication and Pharmacies in Turkey

It is quite effortless to find pharmacies in the Turkey health system: they’re pretty much around every corner. They usually work from 09:00 to 19:00 Monday to Saturday. 

You can also find duty pharmacies that work 24/7 in case of emergencies. Medicine is very much accessible and affordable in Turkey. 

Pharmacies in Turkey are also of great help when you have a complaint and seek consultation because the pharmacists usually have proper training. Still, it’s best to see a doctor before taking any serious medication. 


Conclusion on Turkey Health System

The bottom line is that Turkey’s healthcare system is easily accessible and affordable, and the services it provides are mostly of excellent quality. If you’re planning to relocate to Turkey, you’ll need health insurance anyway because it’s compulsory for you to be able to work. However, if you’re planning to go to Turkey solely to get medical care, make a thorough research on costs, doctors, facilities, etc. beforehand.  

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