1: No Healthcare Coverage
The government In Turkey doesn’t require foreigners over 65 who llve here to have healthcare coverage. So some expats go down this route and pay for all medical treatment as they go. However, terminal diseases or significant operations can drastically decrease any savings or burden family members. Additionally, they only pay as and when pensions come In, delaying treatment.
2: SGK Government Healthcare
All expats under 65 must have healthcare coverage. Most expats, regardless of their age, choose Turkey’s government-run SGK system. The cost increases every year, and single applicants pay the same amount as couples, simply because Turkey’s healthcare system Is based on the family structure rather than single citizenship.
Even though this is a government-run scheme, foreign expats who opt Into it enjoy discounted prices at private hospitals. Treatments covered include Outpatient and inpatient services, pregnancy and birth, Infectious diseases, accidents, and preventive health services. Foreign SGK holders also receive discounts for prescribed medicines. Any foreign expat can apply for SGK If they have lived in Turkey on a residency permit for one year.
3: Private Insurance
The other option Is private healthcare insurance In Turkey. This bypasses treatment at state hospitals and goes to the private sector. However, check the terms and conditions of all policies to know what they cover and stipulations that guarantee a pay-out. Also, be aware that some Insurance companies ask you to pay costs first and then reimburse. some people prefer private insurance because private facilities in Turkey typically offer same-day appointments and English-speaking doctors. Need to Know. in Turkey, when loved ones need to stay overnight or longer in hospital, families come In, to wash, dress and feed the patient. If the person has no family or friends willing to carry this out, there are private nurses, but they charge. The SGK insurance policy does not cover this, and you need to check personal health insurance policies to see if they do.
4: Seeing the Doctor
There are two choices to see a doctor. Once again, private clinics charge, Including for prescriptions, appointments, and treatment. Most expats, however, register at family health clinics, where they access services for free.
5: About Pharmacies and Calling an Ambulance
Pharmacies are called ‘eczane. in Turkey and are spotted by their red cross symbols. Most open from 9. am till 7 p.m. and close at weekends. However, there are always emergency pharmacies that open. These differ every week. Google displays current emergency pharmacies for the whole of Thrkey. Just search for nobetci eczane and where you llve. Alternatively, all closed pharmacies display contact details and address for open pharmacies on their windows. Call 112 for an ambulance; however, if you do not speak Turkish, calla Turkish friend to come and help if the ambulance staff do not speak English.
6: Thermal Treatment
Turkey is a significant destination for thermal medical tourism. Every year, International tourists head to places like Izmir and Bursa, which are well known for their natural thermal pools. Warm spring waters of these pools alleviate symptoms of conditions like arthritis, blood pressure and skin diseases. Unfortunately, government and private health insurance policies do not cover these treatments, but affordable hotels online do.