Where can I get affordable health care

Health system in Turkey

Turkey offers high quality health services. The legal provision in the constitution of the Republic of Turkey makes it clear: "Everyone has the right to social security", which gives all citizens of the Turkish Republic access to health services. Both public and private health services are easily accessible and affordable.

The revolutionary steps that have been taken in the Turkish healthcare system in recent years have brought the Turkish healthcare system to the fore like in many other areas around the world. While the health infrastructure has improved rapidly, bed capacity has increased with newly opened health centers. The increase in the number of doctors specializing in various fields with the help of modernization of medical education has increased the level of expertise in Turkey in many new fields such as aesthetic, eye and heart surgery.

Health Services That Turkey Deals

Turkey offers health services in all medical specialties such as eye diseases, orthopedics and traumatology, internal medicine, ENT, gynecology, general surgery, mouth and dental diseases, neurosurgery, skin and venereal diseases (dermatology) and pediatrics. On the other hand, Turkey has excelled in organ transplantation, eye and dental care, plastic surgery, and hair transplantation in recent years. The diversity of health services in Turkey creates an attractive environment for both "medical tourists" and a growing number of "international retirees".

Why Turkey for Health Services?

The high quality of the services, the accessibility for 1.5 billion people from three different continents within four flight hours, the geographical and strategic location and the moderate climate make Turkey a pioneer in the health sector worldwide.

One of the most important elements that make Turkey one of the top countries in health systems in the world is the expertise and experience of doctors. Due to the general understanding of the country and the educational system, the first preferences of intelligent and successful students are medical schools in Turkey.

On the other hand, due to the density and structure of the population, the number and variety of cases that doctors face in their specialties are quite high compared to many developed countries. This increases the possibility of "on-the-job training" and gives doctors an important experience. These two cases are to ensure that the quality of medical staff in Turkey is high.

What makes Turkey a center of attraction in health care and makes it advantageous compared to other countries can be summarized as follows:

• Health services above world standards
• Strong health infrastructure and high bed capacity
• Number of accredited health facilities and organizations
• Number of specialists in different fields
• Advanced technological treatments
• Competitive price level
• Personalized treatment methods
• Foreign languages ​​Language service personnel
• Short waiting times
• Possibilities of complementary and alternative medicine as a supplement to conventional medical methods

All of these characteristics attract tourists who visit the country for health reasons or who wish to lead healthy lives and receive quality health services after retirement.

Prices in the health sector in Turkey

Although the first reason is the developed health services around the world standards for people who choose Turkey for health services, one of the main reasons contributing to this choice is the competitive price level. This does not necessarily mean that "health services" are cheap in Turkey; however, it means that operations in Turkey are more affordable compared to most European countries due to the low general cost of living in Turkey. According to the OECD price index for hospital services, Turkey is one of the countries with the lowest indices, measured by an average of 41 indices out of 100. While the European Union average is 91, the USA is one of the countries with the highest with an index of 115 Index. With 115, Switzerland stands out as the country with the highest index.

We can use a few examples to examine the price advantage in the healthcare sector.

• While the prices for hip replacement operations in the USA are around 40,000 USD, prices in Turkey range between 12,000-14,000 USD.
• While prices for IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) treatments in the US fluctuate between $ 15,000-20,000, the same treatment can be done in Turkey for $ 2,500 to $ 3,000.
• While the prices for laser operations such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism treatments fluctuate between 4,000 and 8,000 euros in European countries, prices in Turkey are between 600-750 euros.
• The price of bypass surgery is between $ 94,000 and $ 210,000 in the US and $ 12,000 in Turkey; angioplasty is between $ 44,000 and $ 98,000 in the US, while the same operation costs $ 3,500 in Turkey.
• Dental implant prices range from $ 1,000 to $ 3,000 in the UK or US, while this surgery costs between $ 500-800 in Turkey.
• While the price of a rhinoplasty in the US is USD 6,500, the average price in Turkey is around USD 3,100. In Switzerland, this operation can cost up to $ 18,000.
• Turkey, especially in the field of hair transplant surgery, is distinguished by its expertise and experience as well as its prices in the world. While hair transplantation costs between $ 1,700 and $ 2,000 in Turkey, that figure can increase tenfold in England and the United States, up to $ 25,000.
• Liposuction among the cosmetic procedures also costs 50% less in Turkey compared to the USA. While prices in Turkey range from $ 1,250 to $ 3,000, that number is $ 5,500 in the US and $ 6,000 to $ 11,000 in Germany.

A similar comparison can be made for prescription drugs. Most of the standard drugs in Turkey are much more affordable than their equivalents in the UK, US, and European countries. As an example, we can take one of the popular gastric drugs. While the 40 mg version of the same drug, made by an international drug maker, costs $ 7.78 in the US, it costs $ 3.37 in Canada and $ 2.21 in the UK; the selling price of this drug in Turkey is 37 cents.

As a foreigner, how can I use health services in Turkey?

As a welfare state, Turkey offers all citizens health and educational services. Thanks to the social security system called General Health Insurance (GSS), many health and medical expenses are covered by the state. Basic requirements for foreigners who want to use health services in Turkey are: no insurance in another country and have been living in Turkey for more than a year with a residence permit. Foreign nationals can apply for general health insurance after this period has expired.

On the other hand, citizenship also gives you the opportunity to enjoy all public services through an investment program by purchasing a $ 250,000 property in Turkey. Foreign nationals who have acquired citizenship by purchasing a property worth at least $ 250,000 and their families can enjoy the benefits of Turkey's healthcare system for life.

The spouse, children under eighteen and dependent parents of foreign nationals who are eligible for general health insurance can use these health services.

General health insurance covers certain private hospitals and the right to use all public hospitals and clinics. Family health centers in almost every neighborhood offer easy access.

People with general health insurance can make appointments from the hospitals they want to visit by phone or through their applications on smart devices. Thanks to the day and time-dependent allocation of appointments, waiting times in hospitals, long queues and lost time are avoided.

General health insurance not only covers the examination, but also the treatment and medication costs. As part of the social security system, agreements have been made with all pharmacies and patients can receive medication for a small difference.

We can list the services that can be used free of charge with general health insurance as follows

• Exam fees
• Medical expenses
• Operations and organ transplants
• Diagnostic biochemistry, microbiology, pathological examinations, radiological examination and imaging during inpatient treatment
• Physical therapy and rehabilitation after operations
• Long-term treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, dialysis, etc.
• Also home care services for chronic patients, the disabled and the elderly

Can I get public health services with the Turquoise Card?

The Turquoise Card is a document that gives foreigners the unrestricted right to work and reside in Turkey. The family of the Turquoise Card holder also benefits from the right of residence. It is a similar application to the Green Card, which has been used in the US for many years and is known worldwide, or the Blue Card issued by the European Union. The Turquoise Card aims to attract qualified individuals, scientists, artists and athletes to Turkey and also remove the long bureaucratic processes and obstacles that foreign investors may face in their work and residence permits.

Although the Republic of Turkey allows dual citizenship, it is not allowed in many countries. The Turquoise Card enables people to obtain work and residence permits in Turkey without losing their citizenship in their home country. Thanks to this card, it is possible to work like a Turkish citizen without any problems and to take advantage of basic health services within the framework of general health insurance.

Turquoise cardholders have the same rights as Turkish citizens, with the exception of military service, the right to vote, and the right to be elected and to work in public service.

What about the prices for private health insurance in Turkey?

Apart from the fact that Turkey offers affordable health services, both private and public, for everyone, the prices of private health insurance are much cheaper than in many European countries. Private health insurance prices in Turkey vary between 300 and 1,500 euros, depending on the age and general health of the person.

Private hospitals, which are quite common in Turkey, are preferred because of their prices and high quality of service compared to Europe and North America.

As in all areas, the competitive approach can also be observed in the structure of the private sector in the health sector. For this reason, private hospitals and clinics try to have the most successful doctors in their field in order to be preferred. They offer hospitals the convenience of a 5-star hotel and faster and easier appointment options. Private clinics are also characterized by shorter waiting times and convenience.

What is an international retirement? Why is Turkey preferred?

We see that health care is costly in many countries around the world. The US, which is far from welfare state qualifications, is the country with the most expensive health care system in the world, it does not offer its citizens any guarantees and support regarding health services. Approximately 10% of American citizens do not benefit from private insurance. On the other hand, basic health care for veterans and retirees is partly free, but patient waiting times that are too long cause problems. The European countries are in the same boat. In many countries, especially the UK, we are seeing many people waiting in hospitals who have been promised appointments or surgery appointments for the coming months are the subject of the news.

Ultimately, the people who live in these countries prefer countries that offer health services at more affordable prices because of the difficulty of making the necessary expenses to protect and improve their health. At this point the concept of "international pension" emerges. People over a certain age who have health problems, especially in Europe and the US, prefer to go to Turkey after retirement to continue their lives due to the high prices observed in healthcare in other Western countries. This situation leads to a migration to "international pension"which has been popular around the world for 10 years.

Outstanding Cities in Turkey for Health Services

Medical tourists who are retiring in Turkey and also want to use health services mostly prefer Istanbul and Antalyawhere health services are evolving day by day. Ankara, İzmir, Bursa, Muğla and Aydın are also among the ten most visited cities for health tourism in Turkey.

Private hospitals are mostly the first preference of visitors coming to Turkey. However, with the new regulations, various studies have started to strengthen the health tourism infrastructure in universities and public hospitals as well as in private hospitals. Within this framework, the construction of city hospitals, each of which represents a large health complex, is being swiftly continued.

For health tourism, health facilities and organizations must be accredited in accordance with the international standards of the Joint Commission International (JCI). There are 48 units / hospitals in Turkey that are JCI accredited health facilities, and Turkey ranks second in the world by this number. Most of these accredited institutions are located in Istanbul. Istanbul ranks first in terms of both the number of accredited health facilities and the diversity of health services.