healthcare in turkey

FAQs : HEALTHCARE IN TURKEY

Healthcare in Turkey is a subject that concerns many looking to spend an extended period of time in the country. The healthcare system in Turkey is different to the UK and much of Europe. Here are Oceanwide Properties list of most frequently asked questions and answers surrounding the topic.

Does my NHS entitlement affect my SGK insurance in Turkey

Yes your NHS entitlement could affect your SGK entitlement. The SGK health insurance policy clearly states that to qualify you should not be entitled to any other state or government health scheme overseas.

I’m over 65, do I need Turkish health insurance to apply for residency in Turkey?

At present, it is not compulsory for those over the age of 65 to take out Turkish health insurance, or join the SGK system, in order to apply for short term residency. The residency laws are changing so this may not be the case for very long.

Do I need to make a Turkish will?

Inheritance laws in Turkey are different to the UK. We at Oceanwide Properties advise our clients with Turkish properties to have a Turkish will drawn up to avoid any complications should anything unforeseen happen. Under Turkish inheritance law, a spouse is only entitled to receive 25% of the estate, the children receive an equal share of the remaining 75%.  A UK will should be accepted in Turkey, but organising it’s acceptance can be a lengthy (and costly) process therefore it is far better to have a Turkish will in place.

Inheritance laws in Turkey are different to the UK. We at Oceanwide Properties advise our clients with Turkish properties to have a Turkish will drawn up to avoid any complications should anything unforeseen happen. Under Turkish inheritance law, a spouse is only entitled to receive 25% of the estate, the children receive an equal share of the remaining 75%.  A UK will should be accepted in Turkey, but organising it’s acceptance can be a lengthy (and costly) process therefore it is far better to have a Turkish will in place.

Do I need health insurance when I visit turkey on holiday?

It is always a good idea to be covered by a health insurance policy as you never know what could happen. If you are visiting Turkey on a 90 day tourist visa, a holiday insurance policy normally suffices. These can be arranged easily and cheaply via many tour operators, private companies, even banks just check the policy small print and take note of any excesses should you make a claim. Be sure that your policy covers any pre-existing illnesses or conditions you may have and note that most normal agreements don’t cover accidents as a result of sports like paragliding, white water rafting or any other activity that may be deemed dangerous or extreme.

Does a foreign resident in Turkey need health insurance?

Since April 2014, Turkish health insurance for foreign residents in Turkey under the age of 65 is compulsory. The only exceptions to this rule are those from countries that have a reciprocal agreement with Turkey. Unfortunately the UK has no such agreement as yet therefore taking out a Turkish insurance policy is a must.

There is SGK, a popular government run scheme costing around 300TL a month for a policy covering an individual or family, or you can choose to arrange private health care from one of the many Turkish insurance companies.

What is SGK? (Turkish government health insurance)

SGK (Sosyal Guvenlik Kurumu) is the Turkish government health insurance system. As a member of this system you are entitled to receive treatment from government hospitals and health clinics as well as discounted treatment in many participating private hospitals – normally between 30% and 50% discount. The basic SGK covers the treatment of most common health issues including pregnancy, operations and treatments related to ongoing issues or health problems.

Married couples and those with children under 18 years of age can pay one sum, around 300TL, per month to qualify and cover them all. Fair or not, the same monthly fee also applies for a single person policy.

Many foreigners residing in Turkey have chosen to join this system but in order to do so you must be a permanent resident in the country and hold a valid residence permit. To apply, you must undergo medical checks at the state hospital and submit a full set of medical records declaring all pre-existing conditions on application.

Is health insurance compulsory for foreign residents in Turkey?

Yes. All foreign residents under the age of 65 require health insurance to become a resident in Turkey.

Most foreigners either choose to join the governments SGK insurance system for around 300TL per month (family coverage and single), or arrange their own private insurance. Those applying for residency will be asked to submit proof of health insurance on application.

*Disclaimer: Legalities and processes in Turkey are constantly on the change. Although Oceanwide Properties do their best to ensure that all information on our site is correct, we are not financial or legal advisers. If you have any concerns, it is always best to check with an official adviser or authority.