Healthcare in Turkey
According to the US State Department, "Medical care provided in Turkish hospitals varies greatly. Though new private hospitals in Ankara, Analya, Izmir and Istanbul have modern facilities, equipment, numerous U.S.-trained specialists, and international accreditation, some still may be unable to treat certain serious conditions. Health care standards are lower in small cities in Turkey."
Do I Need Health Insurance To get a Residence Permit in Turkey?
From the US State Department, "If you are obtaining residence permit, you will be required by the Turkish government to get health insurance that has coverage in Turkey. The Turkish government implemented a general health insurance law called the Social Insurance and General Health Insurance Law (GHI). You can find below some useful information and updates about the General Health Insurance Law (GHI) if you are applying for GHI in Turkey."
Letter regarding Medicare coverage outside of the U.S.
FAQs from the Social Security Institution's (SGK) website pertaining to foreigners
Private Health Insurance in Turkey
"It's is essential that you have health care insurance," said one expat in Istanbul.
Hospitals in Turkey
"Yes, there are many excellent hospitals in Turkey, with there being no waiting to see a doctor, or to have an operation. An ever growing amount of people come to Turkey for operations as the costs here are very reasonable compared to those in the UK. I personally have had two operations here with no problems at all. As I am covered by private health insurance I do not know what costs are. But have been informed by friends costs here are very reasonable. These do however, vary, especially here in Istanbul. I have found the Baskent Hospital to be excellent for both service and costs," said one expat in Antalya.
"There are several hospitals near where I live. These however are private ones. I myself use Baskent University hospital, which I have found very good. Also their prices are more reasonable than some of the others. The care I received there has been first class. Also there is no long waiting time if you require an operation. As for emergency services, my wife received treatment with only a short wait to see a doctor, apart from that I cannot say," said one expat who moved to Istanbul, Turkey.
The US Embassy in Ankara provides lists of doctors and hospitals in Turkey.
Prescription Medicine in Turkey
"Yes. You can purchase most prescription medicines in the pharmacy's that are easily found. In general you do not require a prescription except for dangerous class drugs like morphine. The cost of medicines are far cheaper than in various other Euopean countries. I have never had a problem buying medicines here in Turkey where I have lived for over 20 years," said one expat who moved to Istanbul, Turkey.
Vaccinations for Turkey
"Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations are also recommended," wrote the CDC. Note that there was an outbreak of measles in Turkey in 2013.