Healthcare in Turkey is governed by a central government system managed by the Ministry of Health, and in 2003, the government introduced a health reform program aimed at increasing the ratio of the private sector to the government and providing medical services to a larger proportion of the population.

The Turkish Statistical Institute announced the allocation of 76.3 billion liras to health services in 2012, 79.6% of which were provided by the Social Security Institution and 15.4% were paid directly from patients.

In 2012, there were 29,960 medical institutions, with an average of one doctor per 583 beds and 2.65 beds per 1,000, in 2015, the average life expectancy was 72.6 years for men and 78.9 years for women with an average of 75.8 years.

In recent years, the number of foreign nationals who choose to immigrate to Turkey has increased, as some of these people choose to live in Turkey for reasons such as investing in Turkey, buying a property in Turkey, establishing a company, studying in Turkey, working, or other reasons.

In addition, the number of people coming to receive treatment and medical services in Turkey is increasing.

Read more about the Turkish Heath care system

Use of Turkish medical services

What must foreigners do to use medical services in Turkey? What information should they have in this subject?

From the 13th century until today, many developments in the field of medicine have been recorded. With recent studies in this field in Turkey, better medical services are provided to citizens and foreign nationals.

For example, emergency services in private hospitals are provided free of charge to all.

Patients can see their doctor via mobile phone and the Internet, as well as ambulances that use the highways.

With the family doctor system, every family has its own doctor.

Can foreign citizens benefit from medical services in Turkey?

Foreign citizens in Turkey can receive medical services, according to Article 60 of the Turkish Constitution, every Turkish citizen and a foreign citizen residing in the country has the right to use health and social security services, and all citizens and foreigners residing in Turkey are granted the right to use all the facilities provided by the government.

What should foreigners do to benefit from medical services in Turkey?

There are two options for better use of medical services in Turkey for foreigners and all citizens of this country, and these two options include social security or personal insurance.

Among these two options, social security insurance is paid by the government.

Personal health insurance is also provided in the form of a monthly premium payment by a private company that provides health insurance to individuals.

And there are private clinics for some doctors in Turkey, these doctors do not work under insurance, Therefore, both Turkish citizens and foreigners have to pay high fees to use the services of these clinics.

Who can benefit from social security services?

  • Foreign nationals who obtained a residence permit in Turkey.
  • Foreigners who do not have health insurance in any country except Turkey.
  • Foreigners who apply for an extension of residence after staying in Turkey for more than a year can use health insurance.

Where should foreigners go to use Social Security?

Foreigners have to go to the nearest social security center to benefit from social security services. There are more than 600 social security centers all over Turkey.

The documents required when applying for social security insurance are:

  • Residence permit card
  • The original or copy of a document proving that the foreigner is eligible for social security insurance, this document is provided by the active branches of Social Security in Turkey or by the social security organization of the relevant foreign state.
  • Commitment form.

Other people who can use Social Security

A foreign citizen who received a social security booklet can include his or her family members with social security provided that:

  • wife/husband
  • Children under 18 years old
  • Children under the age of 20 who study in high school and are also unmarried.
  • Have children under the age of 25 who are studying at university and are also unmarried.
  • According to the age of the unmarried foreign child who suffers from a physical and mental disability.
  • If the institution or company he works for confirms that the foreign citizen is under parental care, he can use social insurance.

What is the percentage of Social Security premiums paid?

The percentage of social security premiums paid to foreigners is 24% of the minimum wage and for foreign students 4% of the minimum wage.

How can foreigners use personal insurance?

Foreigners must first have personal health insurance to obtain a residence permit, this means that one of the important conditions for staying in Turkey is obtaining personal health insurance.

Personal health insurance is provided by private insurance companies in Turkey, and the facilities and conditions that insurance companies provide to their customers vary in each company, private companies have health insurance premiums, in return, this person can benefit from the medical services provided by the insurance company.

A foreign citizen can cancel his personal health insurance and apply for social security insurance after obtaining a residence permit.

There are representatives of private health insurance companies in all cities of Turkey. These companies operate in areas such as car insurance, travel insurance, accident insurance, health insurance and housing insurance.

What health services does personal health insurance cover?

Personal health insurance, like Social Security insurance, covers many medical and health services.

For example:

  • Kidney, pancreas, heart, lung, liver and cornea transplant
  • ESWL, GAMMA KNIFE costs
  • Medication costs
  • The cost of a doctor’s examination
  • During treatment and hospitalization, biochemical diagnosis, microbiology, pathology, radiological examination and imaging
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation after surgery
  • Cardiovascular angiography
  • Home medical care and services for insured persons and social support in their social activities
  • Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and dialysis.

How to benefit from the services of private offices in Turkey?

In addition to doctors working in public and private hospitals and university hospitals, some doctors have private clinics for patients to visit.

These doctors do not work under any insurance, so patients who are examined in these clinics cannot benefit from insurance services.

Therefore, the use of medical services in private clinics may be very costly.

Turkish pharmacies

Pharmacies in Turkey work during the week, from 8:30 until 19:00 and on Saturday from 9:30 to 19:00,

You can visit Turkish pharmacies, outside of these hours and on vacation you must visit pharmacies that work 24 hours.

There are not many Pharmacies that work around the clock in Turkey, if you need medicine, and Turkish hospitals often do not have pharmacies.

How should foreigners benefit from pharmacy services in Turkey?

With regard to pharmacy services in Turkey, we must bear in mind that foreign nationals must be covered by personal insurance or social security.

These people can get the medicines they need for free or for a small fee from pharmacies.

Personal insurance and social security have contractual agreements with the pharmacies And they pay for the medicines.

It will be very difficult for both citizens and foreigners who do not have insurance to buy medicines at high prices.

In Turkey, unlike some European countries and the United States, pharmaceutical services are provided only through pharmacies.

According to Turkish law, there is one pharmacy for every 3,500 people in Turkey, for this reason, the number of pharmacies varies according to the population of each city.

In Turkey, the establishment of a pharmacy is only granted to people who have graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy, so you can safely get the medicines you need from pharmacies, as the workers in these pharmacies are experts in this field.

Does personal and social security insurance in Turkey cover pharmacy services?

Turkish pharmacies that have agreements with insurance and social security companies, provide medicines to people for free or at a low cost.

But there are some medicines that are not covered by insurance.

To buy these medicines, both people who have insurance and people not covered by insurance have to pay for them.

The insurance does not cover Some medications, such as analgesics, colds and fever medications, are available over the counter, but are sold at a low price.

Medicines banned in Turkey

Before entering the Turkish territory, note that it is forbidden to take some medicines with you.

These include hypnotics, strong sedatives, or attention-grabbing medications.

Doctor fees in Turkey

Obtaining insurance in Turkey will certainly reduce the cost of the doctor fees.

Obtaining a permanent residence also breaks down hospital costs.

For example, if you have a permanent residence in Turkey, you will not need to pay for a visit to a general Doctor.

The cost of a specialist doctor also varies depending on whether you visit a public or private hospital.

In general, it can be said that the cost of treatment in Turkey is prohibitive, if You do not have insurance, and you may not be able to afford it.

It should be noted that the patient should pay about 10 to 40 percent of the cost of treatment if he has insurance (according to its type), some insurances cover all the costs of treatment.

The cost of treatment and the cost of the doctor, and the cost of visiting the specialist doctor ranges from In Turkey, between 70 and 200 liras.

The cost of health insurance in Turkey

According to the laws of this country, people under the age of 17 and over 65 do not need to pay health insurance fees.

People between the ages of 18 and 23 have to pay around 400 liras per year.

People between the ages of 23 and 40 must pay around 1,000 liras per year for health insurance.

Also, people over the age of 50 must pay around 2,500 liras per year for health insurance.

For insurance companies that cover all medical expenses, an additional fee must be paid annually.