Healthcare services in Turkey is very extensive and comprehensive. If you are under a private healthcare insurance or general healthcare insurance, you can benefit from health care services depending on the coverage of your insurance. You have to pay for healthcare services if you are not insured. General health insurance premiums of the persons covered by international protection are covered partially or fully by Provincial Directorates of Migration Management and persons under temporary protection benefit from first, second and third level health services. In order to benefit effectively from health services, you have to register to the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management and learn about the scope of healthcare services associated with your status in Turkey. The Turkish healthcare system involves emergency health services, as well as primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare centers
EMERGENCY HEALTHCARE SERVICES
Emergency healthcare services include health services that are provided in the event of an accident, injury or sudden problems of health.
Ambulance Services: You can receive medical aid by calling 112 in case of an emergency. When you call 112, you have to provide information such as the location of the emergency and the number of patients or injured. 112 authorities may request additional information in order to offer you proper health services, and it is crucial to provide accurate information.
Hospital Emergency Services: Emergency departments of hospitals provide services 24 hours a day. You should resort to these services only in case of emergency. First medical intervention and reception services are provided in emergency departments.
PRIMARY HEALTHCARE SERVICES
Primary healthcare services are provided in Family Health Centers, and Migrant Health and Voluntary Health Centers. These centers provide ambulatory diagnosis, treatment and immunization (vaccination) services, fight against infectious diseases and epidemics, gynecological and reproductive health services, infant, child and adolescent health services in general.
Migrant Health Centers are established in areas with high Syrian population under temporary protection, and these centers only provide service to Syrians under temporary protection
SECONDARY AND TERTIARY HEALTH SERVICES
Other than primary health services, these are the health facilities where diagnosis and treatment services are provided.
Secondary Health Facilities: Secondary health facilities are state hospitals that are not university and research hospitals; branch hospitals, oral and dental health centers, private hospitals and medical centers.
Tertiary Health Facilities: Tertiary health facilities are university and research hospitals, branch hospitals and university hospitals affiliated with the Ministry of Health.
In addition to emergency health services, these health facilities provide ambulatory diagnosis and treatment services, inpatient treatment services, surgical operations, psychiatric services, and oral and dental health services.
You can get an appointment from public hospitals by calling 182 or visiting www.hastanerandevu.gov.tr. Getting an appointment reduces your waiting time in hospitals and increases the quality of service you receive. However, university hospitals and private hospitals are not included in the appointment system.
HEALTH INSURANCE SYSTEM
It is recommended to have a health insurance to benefit efficiently from the healthcare system during your stay in Turkey. If you have a private health insurance, you can receive service depending on the coverage of your insurance policy. Different insurance companies offer private health insurance policies with different coverages and prices. It is recommended to consult insurance agencies and conduct a detailed market research to choose the best insurance policy based on your needs.
General health insurance is provided by the provincial directorates of social security, which means that they are provided by a public authority. 1 year of residence is required for general health insurance. Nevertheless, foreign nationals who study in Turkey may take out a policy upon request within three months from their first registration regardless of the one-year residence requirement.
You can apply to provincial directorates of social security with the documents listed below to start general health insurance;
‣ Residence permit document,
‣ The original document or a copy of the letter that indicates the social security status of health insurance application, which may be obtained from the social security organization or labor attaché office in the relevant foreign country.
‣ Commitment (request) form
However, foreigners who applied for or obtained international protection, Syrian citizens under temporary protection, and those who are in stateless person status are included in the general health insurance system with their premiums paid by the state. Premiums of the persons under temporary protection are paid under the protocol between AFAD and the Ministry of Health, not within the scope of the general health insurance system.
SCOPE OF THE GENERAL HEALTH INSURANCE
Once you are included in the general health insurance system, you, your spouse and your children under the age of 18 can benefit from health services. In addition, your children under the age of 20, who attend a high school or an equivalent school or apprenticeship training and vocational training in businesses; children under the age of 25, who attend higher education and are not married, or who are disabled and not married; and your mother and father who are dependent on you for subsistence may also benefit from health services.
General health insurance is terminated in case of expiration of the residence permit, insured employment in another country, inclusion in another coverage of general health insurance, death or disappearance.
Insurance policies of those who are under General Health Insurance on abroad are not valid in Turkey. However, certain insurance policies may be valid in Turkey under mutual social security agreements signed with 28 countries.
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PHARMACIES AND BUYING MEDICATION
If your physician thinks that you need medication, he/ she may write out a prescription for you. You can get your medications from a pharmacy. Certain medications such as antibiotics may only be purchased by prescription. The dose, frequency (2 times a day, at 12-hour intervals, etc.), duration (days) of using a medication, and storage conditions are specified. A medication should be used for the period suggested by your physician. Use of a medication should not be interrupted, and the prescribed dose should not be changed without advice from the physician. You should read the labels and instructions on medications carefully, and ask a physician for clarification in case of inability to understand such instructions. Only pharmacies on night duty are available from 19:00 to 09:00. Address and telephone details of your local pharmacy on night duty are displayed on the window of other pharmacies, and published in local newspapers and on the Internet.
If you have a private health insurance, you pay for physician and medication costs at first. Your expenditures are reimbursed when you present the invoices and prescriptions to the insurance company