Health care will be an important aspect of your relocation to Turkey. What about health care services for foreigners? Find out here...
Turkey has a well-developed and elaborate health care system consisting of public and private hospitals, highly qualified doctors and nurses, quality health care services and facilities. Social security and health insurance is easily available there. So if you have decided to move there, health care should not be a major concern.
However, you are strongly advised to update your vaccination certificate. In fact, viral hepatitis A and B, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, typhoid and rabies vaccinations are recommended before traveling to Turkey. However, these are not compulsory.
Avoid drinking tap water in Turkey. It is best to drink mineral water in sealed bottles.
Turkish public hospitals are numerous. But some of these may lack certain facilities and financial means. This is why many foreigners prefer to attend modern and equipped private clinics. You are more likely to find these in major cities and in tourist areas.
Essential medication in Turkey does not need a prescription for delivery. However, you will need to produce a prescription for medication which is used for particular treatments, such as chronic diseases. These are classified into two sections: those which are marked green have addiction risks while those which are marked red have strong analgesic characteristics near to drugs.
Note that medication prices are determined by the Turkish Ministry of Justice. Packets bear bar codes which prevent any rise in prices. 20% of the prescribed price is paid by the patient on external medical examination while retired people pay only 10% of the price. In case of chronic diseases, medication is totally free of charge.
The social security scheme covers all workers who contribute to its pensions fund in case of disease, pregnancy, accidents at work, professional diseases, temporary and permanent disability, old age, death and unemployment. However, there is no family contribution in Turkey. You will be eligible to these at Sosyal Guvenlik Kurumu Baskanligi (SSK) hospital and in official medical institutions. These may also apply, in case of emergency, in private hospitals and clinics. Fees will then be calculated by the SSK.
As regards independent workers, they are eligible to almost the same conditions, except in the case of unemployment.
Note that foreigners in Turkey may also subscribe to a private health insurance scheme. Fees may vary according to different countries.
You will be covered by the insurance scheme in case of temporary diseases. If required health care services are not available locally, transportation fees will be taken into account. However, the worker must have contributed for at least 30 days during the last 12 months preceding illness for him and his family to be eligible to the scheme.
Patients are required to pay a moderation ticket at each public hospital consultation. In case of admission, the patient can choose his hospital and treatment fees will be taken into account wholly.
In case of temporary disability, the grant is debited as from the third day till the patient has recovered or as from the date of disability, provided the patient has contributed for at least 90 days during the preceding year. The latter will be eligible to 50% of his monthly basic salary, including contributions in case of hospital admission and 66% if ambulatory treatment is required.
Female workers, as well as male workers' wives are eligible to pregnancy allowance which covers medical tests and treatments. Note that pregnant women have to undergo a medical test before the end of the 6th pregnancy month. The grant is debited provided the latter has contributed for at least 90 days during the preceding year. Moreover, the temporary disability to work scheme represents 2/3 of the basic salary, including contributions.
Patients will be eligible to this grant for eight months before and after delivery. In case of multiple birth, the maternity leave is extended by two weeks.
Finally, if the worker has contributed for at least 120 days during the preceding year, she will be eligible to a one and a half hour leave for breastfeeding.
Accident at work and professional diseases
The insurance scheme covers all individual and group accidents at work or in an official vehicle, as well as professional diseases determined by the Turkish Ministry of Health. In case of temporary disability, daily transfers will be equal to 2/3 of the worker's daily basic salary, including contributions. Where ambulatory treatment applies, he will be eligible to ½ of his daily basic salary till he recovers completely.
In case of partial or complete disability, the worker will be eligible to a pension which will depend on the degree of disability, as well as on his professional category. These may vary between 10 and 25% in for partial disability. The Social Security scheme may determine if the incapacity degree is likely to increase or decrease.
Where the worker is totally disabled, he will be eligible to 70% of his basic salary.
Useful phone numbers
Emergency police: 155
Rural police stations: 156
Fire services: 110
International hospital: 90 212 6633000
German hospital: 90 212 2932150
US hospital: 90 212 2314050