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Healthcare in Turkey: What To Know

April 15, 2021
Healthcare should be one of your top priorities when you plan to go to a different country for a long period of time. Whether you're going there for work or you plan to relocate there, knowing how the country's healthcare system works is an absolute must. How else can you ensure that no matter what happens to you, you'll be well-taken-care-of? Or that you'll find the right doctor for your pre-existing conditions? Not to mention your medical costs too! Here in Turkey, the healthcare system is pretty straightforward. Here's what you ought to know about it if you plan on going here!
Healthcare in Turkey: What To Know

Getting Access to Turkey's Healthcare System

Just like in other countries like Belgium or the Netherlands, Turkey operates on a universal healthcare system. This means that, as long as you're a legal resident of the country, you can access its public health coverage. This is because the national healthcare system is funded by the country's taxes. And since most residents pay taxes in Turkey, they automatically gain access to the public option. Unfortunately, however, Turkey’s public healthcare isn't exactly high-quality. Those who already have access to public health coverage often add a private plan as well.

Turkey's Public Healthcare Option

Despite the criticisms targeted at Turkey’s public healthcare system, what exactly do this offer the country's residents? For one thing, it does help subsidized rates for various medical costs. And this matters a lot since Turkey's national system is one of the most underfunded out of many countries' healthcare systems. For a number of treatments and operations, those covered by public healthcare don't have to pay the full price. For expecting mothers in the country, they're provided proper rehabilitation, ranging from fine maternity wards to paid leaves. And when it comes to medication, the public healthcare option offers prescriptions for various drugs.

Healthcare in Turkey: What To Know

Private Healthcare in System

Although private insurance is the best answer for non-residents to get health coverage in Turkey, it's become a popular option among legal residents as well. For one thing, getting a private plan gives them access to many of the country's private hospitals. These health institutions are often those with better facilities, more advanced equipment, and the finest professionals in the country. Private healthcare also makes it easier for you to get connected with English-speaking doctors, making it more than suitable for foreigners staying in Turkey. With all that said, private healthcare does tend to cost higher than the public option, especially from international providers like Cignal Global and Allianz Care.

Pharmacies in Turkey

You don't have to worry about pharmacies in Turkey. There are a lot of them throughout the entire country. They're called ' eczane' and can be found in both urban and rural areas. Those in major cities like Istanbul and Ankara mostly stay open 24/7, allowing for medical assistance for customers no matter what time of day it is. However, in general, pharmacy hours can vary. Those located in smaller cities tend to have limited hours compared to those in big metropolises. Despite all that, medicine regulations tend to be laxer in Turkey. There are a number of prescription drugs that you can purchase over-the-counter here!

Healthcare in Turkey: What To Know

Turkey's Emergency Services

As with any other country, you can rely on Turkey's emergency services. No matter where you are in the country, all you need to do is to dial 112 and you'll get well-taken-care-of no matter what. Do note that, once you dial the emergency hotline, there's no guarantee that the operator who picks up your call will know how to speak English. Furthermore, the speed of the ambulance services that will rush to you depends on whether it's coming from a public or private hospital. Rest assured, however, that emergency services are given to all in Turkey, regardless of residency status or whether you have a public or private plan.

Typical Health Problems in Turkey

Turkey has many pressing health hazards that most people, be they local or foreign, should be wary of. For one thing, you'd be advised not to drink tap water here. More often than not, doing so leads to vomiting and diarrhea. As Turkey is located in the warm region of the Middle East, Malaria poses a major health concern in many areas here. particularly those in the southern regions of the country. Not to mention the fact that, since Turkey mostly has a warm climate, many are prone to getting heatstroke here too! Always be careful about your health and condition here!

Healthcare in Turkey: What To Know

The more you know about Turkey's healthcare system, the safer you are while you're here. Regardless of your residency status in the country, as long as you're in Turkey, you ought to get covered with any sort of healthcare plan!

Staying healthy should be your utmost priority here in turkey! And if you need to recover in a hospital or in your luxury home here, so be it!