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Accessing healthcare in Turkey

Posted on 14 August 2017

Our family’s health and well-being will always be our number one priority. Therefore, the quality of and access to healthcare services should be one of the first things you research before buying a home overseas. Anyone looking to buy a home in Turkey will be pleased to hear that a growing economy has ensured funds have been made available to improve healthcare services there.

Let’s take a look at the main routes available to expats when it comes to accessing these first-class public and private healthcare services in Turkey.

SGK

Turkey’s government-run Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu (SGK) scheme is available to anyone that has legally resided in Turkey for at least one year. Once enrolled on the scheme you will pay a monthly fee, making you eligible to access a number of services in state hospitals, upon presentation of your SGK health insurance ID card.

The application process is straightforward:

  • Go to your local SGK office to verify your requirements.
  • Get a physical examination at a private or state hospital.
  • Submit an initial application at your local SGK office – you will need your residence permit, passport, and proof of address. You will be provisionally enrolled and provided with a Provizyon Sorgulama Cevap (Provisional Inquiry Reply). You will be required to pay the premium for the first month of coverage.
  • Return to the SGK office with the Provisional Inquiry Reply.

If you are married, you only have to make one payment per month, which will cover both people. Policy cover also extends to dependents under the ages of 18 years. Couples that reside together but aren’t legally married are viewed as two single people by the state, meaning they will both have to pay the full sum each month. A married couple who are both in receipt of a state pension will also have to pay independently of each other.

Private health insurance

Anyone under 65 must have full health insurance –SGK or private – if they are applying for a Turkish residency permit.

A range of providers offer health insurance options in Turkey, covering a certain percentage of the costs of the inpatient and outpatient health services. Translators are available, eliminating any potential issues the language barrier may present, the quality of equipment and services are as good as anywhere in Europe and waiting lists for treatment are far shorter than in the UK.

Always establish what you are required to pay and that your health insurance company is covered by the private hospital in your local area. There is a chance that pre-existing conditions may not be covered on your policy, so review everything with your insurance provider before committing.

For more about living in Turkey, visit Turkey Property Guides where you can download your FREE Turkey Buying Guide here!

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