Living in Turkey?
Living in Turkey
According to Turkish tradition, a stranger at one’s doorstep is considered a guest from God. As an expat in Turkey, you will often experience the cordial hospitality which is common for this country. This attitude does not only attract expats, but many tourists as well. The beautiful beaches on the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts are especially popular among visitors and expatriates.
Turkey’s currency is the Yeni Türk Lirasi (New Turkish Lira, TRY). It was introduced in 2005 and is widely used. However, if you’ll be living in a tourist area, you may even find shops and restaurants which also accept foreign currency. If you still carry USD or EUR, you may thus be able to spend them.
The Turkish Healthcare System
Healthcare in Turkey is part of the country’s social security system. You will find that with one single contribution, you are covered in case of illness, accident or retirement. All these insurances are organized by the same institution.
The SGK (Social Security Institution) and the Ministry of Health sometimes run their own medical establishments. You will have to visit these in case of an accident or illness. Only if those facilities do not provide sufficient services can patients living in Turkey be transferred to other hospitals or clinics.
The Turkish healthcare system has improved significantly in recent years. Hospitals, clinics and practices offer many facilities and types of treatments. Unfortunately, infectious diseases and parasite-related illnesses still occur in the country. The development of irrigating agriculture has also led to a reintroduction of malaria. In comparison to EU countries, Turkey’s medical care is still below average.
The Different Healthcare Sectors
Turkey’s healthcare system encompasses many hospitals, health stations, and healthcare centers. Most of these are run by the Social Security Institutions or the Health Department.
In addition to the state run one, there is a private healthcare sector with hospitals and doctor’s practices. These private facilities provide truly excellent medical care. Unfortunately for a majority of people living in Turkey, only the more affluent are able to afford private healthcare.
According to social security regulations, you must cover about 20% of the costs for your medication. Retirees only have to cover roughly 10% of the medication costs. However, patients paying for expensive medication and modern treatments out of pocket are a reality of living in Turkey.
What Can You Expect to Pay?
The costs for a visit to the doctor in Turkey typically start around 140 TRY, a visit to the dentist may cost you 40 TRY and more. This price, however, can be significantly higher, depending on the type and quality of treatment as well as the city where you live.
You may also face high costs when checking into a Turkish hospital. Inquire about the exact treatment prices and about your insurance coverage beforehand. Depending on the reason for hospitalization, the costs may vary strongly.
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