An important aspect to take into consideration when planning your retirement to a new country is the healthcare systems in place. To enjoy your post-work era and continue to live life fully, an adequate healthcare is essential. Over the decades, there’s been drastic improvements in the healthcare sector of Turkey. So much so that when it comes to healthcare services, Turkey is now regarded as one of the leading healthcare providers in the region and it continues to strive under the charge of the Ministry of Health to reach excellence globally. Turkey is also known for medical tourism whereby many patients come here for fertility treatments, cosmetic surgery and specialist operations.
As an expat, you can enjoy the services of Turkey’s healthcare systems at a reasonable price. Foreigners can join the state-run SGK, public health insurance or opt for personal coverage through private insurance. In either case, you would be receiving high-quality care at a price that’s fairly low when compared to most of the countries in the US and Europe.
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For many foreigners living in Turkey, health insurance is a major concern. Here are the most common questions asked by our clients regarding the healthcare for expats in Turkey.
SGK (Sosyal Guvenlik Kurumu) is a government approved scheme and as a foreign resident you are eligible to opt for this public health insurance if you’ve lived for one year in Turkey. You can apply for SGK at any of the social security centers in Turkey by submitting a few documents. With a small monthly fee, can enjoy the benefits like free treatment at state hospitals, prescriptions at a reduced price and sometimes even discounts at private hospitals.
Opting for a private health insurance scheme is ideal if you’re single, don’t want to wait for a long time to receive medical care and are not yet eligible for SGK. In Turkey, you’ll find many insurance companies offering private health insurance. Just like SGK, you’ll pay a monthly premium to use the pre-listed services. With private health insurance, you get to enjoy shorter waiting times comparatively and it’s easier to find more English-speaking care-providers making it a more preferable option for many expats.
Each village and town in Turkey has a family health care center where as a foreigner you can go for free consultations. All you need it to show your passport or residency permit. If you choose to go to a private clinic though, you’ll have to pay since these private clinics aren’t covered under any insurance.
In case of emergencies, it’s best to call an ambulance. In Turkey, emergency treatment is free of cost but you may have to pay the admission charges in a private hospital. However, these fees are pretty low compared to other countries. Call 112 for any emergencies.
When compared to the US, the UK and Europe, we find the cost of healthcare in Turkey to be much more affordable. A good example of that is dental care which is almost 50-70% cheaper in Turkey.