Health insurance in turkey is so robust that there is provision of comprehensive health care for all. This is as a result of the implementation of health reforms in Turkey over the last ten years. These reforms and improvements in her health care system have made Turkey a health Tourist Centre for health tourists. And who are attracted by high-quality services as well as competitive prices.

It is worthy of note that the quality of health care in turkey vary from place to place. For instance, if you are in major cities like Istanbul or Ankara, you will have good quality private hospitals with English speaking staff. However, if you’re living or visiting the rural areas and smaller towns, you may find health care access challenging as you will not be able to access the same quality of health care as in the major cities. However, whether you choose to subscribe to public or private insurance scheme in turkey, you are under legal compulsion to have some form of health coverage in Turkey, unless those who are older than 65 years.

Also, foreign Nationals have the choice of joining the state health care system subject to making some regular contributions or access high-quality private hospitals and clinics. In the first instance, if you have lived in Turkey with contributions to the state social security system for more than a year, you will have access to the state’s public medical care. Also, you will also need a valid residence permit. However, the recommendation is International Private Medical Insurance (iPMI) to enable you enjoy comprehensive health insurance in Turkey cover and thereby access the best quality healthcare. For European expatriates, the European Health Insurance Card is not valid in Turkey.


They are two classes of health insurance coverage in Turkey and they comprise of the Sosyal Guvenlik Kurumu (SGK) and the Private medical insurance cover in Turkey.

Sosyal Guvenlik Kurumu (SGK).

The Sosyal Guvenlik Kurumu (SGK) is the name of the Turkish government health insurance system. It is the government approved health insurance system. This is available to people who have lived in turkey for more than a year and who have paid a fixed premium for it. For those who are working with a company, the employer may pay the premium for the employees.

Also, in 2006 this was made easier with the Turkish government’s launching of Genel Sağlık Sigortası (GSS). The GSS is the government’s universal healthcare system which provides various ranges of medical services to all residents, and all children notwithstanding the status of their parents.

Therefore, registering with GSS, will afford the subscribers free medical treatment and attention in the following situations with the exception of some prescription drugs and outpatient services.


  1. Childbirth
  2. Emergencies
  3. Extraordinary events (e.g. injuries from war or a natural disaster)
  4. Fertility treatment (if you’re younger than 39)
  5. Infectious diseases
  6. Medically necessary cosmetic surgery
  7. Preventive health services (e.g. drug and alcohol addiction)
  8. Work-related accidents and illnesses


Similarly, some public hospitals also provide dental services, though you’ll usually have to go to a private facility.

Private health insurance cover in Turkey

About just 2% of people in the Turkey have private health insurance and spend for medical treatment

Cost of private health insurance in Turkey
For an individual

In turkey, the lowest average premium for private health insurance in Turkey is about £11 per year, for 18 to 25-year-olds, while the highest premium with respect to policyholders above 60 of age is about £120 per year.

Similarly, the premium for those who are of age between 26 and 50 years of age is between £18 and £30 per annum.

For a family

In turkey, the maximum premium of £70 per year is for a family of four. However, same number of family may even be able to get a good level of coverage for as low as £40 per year.

Is healthcare free in Turkey?

The answer to the above question is in the affirmative only to the extent that a universal healthcare system is. The Turkish government pays for healthcare through taxation. For residents who have a job, the employer may pay insurance premiums for the employees. And on the converse, if you are not working, your payment for insurance will be on a means-tested basis. Public healthcare system is free for children and till they get to higher education and stops after turning 18 years of age.

Moreover, the Turkish government will equally pay your insurance premiums if your income is less than one-third of the gross minimum wage when divided by the number of people in your household. But if your income becomes higher, you will pay premiums on the basis of the increase.

In summary, about 77.5% of healthcare cost in turkey is from the government funds and the remaining percentage is from the public, either through private insurance or out-of-pocket expenses.

Health insurance in Turkey for expatriates

The health care system in turkey is such that an expatriate won’t be able to access the public healthcare treatment in Turkey until they have lived in the country for a year as a resident. The only exception is where one’s spouse is a Policyholder.

Also, British National who’ll receive a United Kingdom state pension while in Turkey won’t be able to register for public healthcare.

Thus, the law compels any expat who is unable to attain public insurance during this period of after one year to purchase private health insurance coverage, unless such person is above 65 years of age. This is notwithstanding that after a year of living in Turkey as a resident you can apply to register with the Social Security Institution. And thereafter, start receiving public healthcare.

In all, many expatriates choose to remain with their private health insurance policy. This is because they are usually extremely affordable as well as allows policyholders to use the best healthcare facilities.


Turkey’s health system has made a lot of considerable improvements over the last couple of decades. However, it still has plenty of room for improvement and growth. For instance, a 2018 study published in The Lancet with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ranks Turkey’s healthcare 60th in the world. This puts the Eurasian country in 37th place below the UK and some other poorer countries like Macedonia, Lithuania, and Bermuda.

Turkey still has some way to go in several areas, for instance in raising the number of physicians in the country. There are currently 18 doctors per 10,000 people, according to the World Bank which is less than nearby Cyprus, or war-torn Libya.

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