In general, Turkey's healthcare system is not as advanced as most western European countries. Health centres are dispersed all over the country but critical health issues can only be treated in main city centres like Istanbul and Ankara. On average, there is one hospital bed for 440 inhabitants and the ratio is even greater between doctors and inhabitants. Life expectancy is almost 10 years lesser than most developed western European countries.
The quality of Turkish hospitals varies tremendously depending on location and whether it is privately or publicly funded. Efforts are being made to improve services and now some hospitals in Istanbul and Ankara boast of treatments like laser eye correction, plastic surgery, cosmetic dentistry etc. Istanbul and Ankara have newer, private facilities with fairly modern equipment and qualified training programs, but they still may not be able to address all serious medical conditions. The US State Department recommends that pregnant employees leave the country prior to giving birth. Foreign residents with chronic ailments are advised to keep medicines for at least six months as local pharmacies may not always have the medication you need.
With so much to deal with before leaving your home country, (taxes, moving house, paperwork etc.) the careful planning of your expatriation to Istanbul is an essential step. As far as healthcare is concerned, your local social security scheme won’t be accompanying you to your host country and, once abroad, you might be surprised by the care system you find in Turkey. So, before leaving, make sure you have appropriate cover!
EasyExpat.com works in partnership with APRIL International to provide specific insurance solutions for travelling or staying outside your country of nationality.
Designed for either short or long stays, APRIL International’s insurance policies offer protection against any problems that might arise before departure or during your time in Turkey: cancelling your trip, medical expenses following an illness or accident, needing to be repatriated, causing damage to a third party or losing your luggage.
For more information on expat health insurance in Turkey, visit our partner APRIL International