Healthcare System in Turkey

Healthcare System in Turkey

Turkey’s Healthcare System

Healthcare systems are important for every country and population. In this article, you can find what is a healthcare system, how it works, and how the healthcare system in Turkey is. Recently, healthcare systems become a big part of the world economy. A healthcare system is defined as a financed, organized, and delivered system to a population. It includes expenditures and resources, which means the issues of the government provides for the public. A healthcare system aims to develop, refresh, and retain health. Turkey’s healthcare system includes both private and public health services, and there are approximately 28,000 medical institutes in the country.[2]

Also answering the expectations and providing financial protection against the costs of illness or health are very important goals for a healthcare system in a country. Healthcare systems are influenced by many factors including the history of population or culture. Therefore, each country draws its own path. Most countries care about the healthcare system so much like Turkey.

The Turkish healthcare system has been said to have improved significantly in terms of greater access to healthcare facilities, as well as quality and efficiency, since the implementation of the Health Transformation Program in 2003.[1]

While the former system was based on disparate provisions and finance and lagged behind many industrialized countries in terms of health outcomes, the new system achieved virtually universal coverage and greatly improved many health outcomes. In 2013, health spending accounted for 5.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), which was up from 4.8 percent in 1998.

Moreover, Turkey offered stronger financial coverage for the poor from high healthcare costs as well as fairness in healthcare access for the entire community. However, Turkey confronts significant hurdles in catching up to other industrialized nations in terms of health and financial sustainability.

To meet these goals, Turkey must continue to implement new reform policies such as countering the informal economy, allocating more funds to health care, constructing incentive-based payment methods, implementing a gatekeeping system and referral chain, building the capacity to use health technology assessments in reimbursement decisions, and ensuring hospital autonomy.

Well-Developed Healthcare System in Turkey

Turkey’s healthcare industry, increased nearly three times in 20 years after the 1980s. In this increasing, the public sector has a big role. Especially, social security institutions’ healthcare expenditures become an engine for healthcare in public. On the other hand, the Turkish government provided the private healthcare sector by allowing social security institutions’ purchasing healthcare services from the private sector.

In recent years, the private sector moves ahead of the public sector about hospitals. Many people prefer private hospitals because of service quality. Meanwhile, the Turkish government makes improvements to public hospitals. The healthcare system in Turkey improves with the capacity of hospitals, good services, and technology. The importance of family practice decreases the number of patients in public hospitals.

The government provides technological equipment purchasing with expenditures on the healthcare system. Investments are mostly about research-development and information technologies departments. Turkey works on all movements about the healthcare system and the healthcare system develops in time.

The Healthcare System in Turkey

It goes without saying that health insurance is critical. Fortunately, Turkey has a well-developed healthcare system, complete with cutting-edge medical facilities and highly experienced professionals, as well as comprehensive health insurance plans. As an ex-pat, your first worry will most likely be selecting the health insurance plan that best suits your requirements and circumstances.[3]

Health Insurance in Turkey

Expatriates in Turkey are required to get health insurance, which is particularly important when applying for a residency or work visa. If the government healthcare plan in your native country complies with Turkish legislative criteria, you may be eligible to maintain it throughout your time in Turkey. More specific information should be available from your country’s healthcare services.

Alternatively, if you work for a Turkish company, you will be enrolled in Turkey’s national Social Security System (“Sosyal Guvenlik Kurumu” in Turkish, “SGK” in short), a contribution-based plan open to all citizens. In all public clinics and hospitals, the SGK entitles you to free inpatient and outpatient treatment. It covers the majority of health issues, such as; disease, pregnancy, and work-related accidents, as well as payments to recompense you for temporary job unavailability.

Furthermore, as long as your medications are recommended by a public hospital doctor, you can acquire them at a reduced price from local pharmacies. Most private clinics and hospitals will also give you a discount through the SGK, however, you will still have to pay out of pocket. If you already have a valid Turkish residency visa, you can join the SGK for a monthly fee even if you don’t have a job contract.

You can also join a private health insurance plan, either local or foreign. Many expatriates choose this choice since private hospitals have more English-speaking (or other languages) doctors than state hospitals. Premiums may vary depending on your age, nationality, health history, and the scope of coverage provided by the plan.

Good to know Information:

It’s worth noting that plastic surgery is not covered by the SGK. Furthermore, dental care options in the public system are quite restricted (almost non-existent), therefore you’ll almost always have to go to a private professional.

  • Emergencies/Ambulance short mobile number: “112”
  • ‘Emergencies’ in Turkish: “Acil” or “ilk Yardim”
  2. Wikipedia contributors. (2021e, June 7). Health care in Turkey. Wikipedia.
  3. (2014, August 26). The healthcare system in Turkey. Https://Www.Expat.Com/.


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This article was published on 27.06.2021 and last edited on 27.06.2021. Images used in this article have been taken from free image-sharing services on the internet. Also, in this article, which is called; “Healthcare Services For Foreigners in Turkey,” information freely shared on the internet was used, and necessary references were given in the article. We make every effort to offer accurate and current information. However, please do let us know if you find any errors in this article.