Health and Insurance in Turkey

Turkey has a well-established healthcare sector with a large number of Turkish doctors and dentists who speak English, particularly in the major hospitals. All hospitals have an emergency room that is open 24 hours a day, physicians and pharmacies are on call 24 hours, 7 days a week.

All universities in Turkey have a free medical service at their medical centres. It offers advice on emergency treatment and consultations on personal and health matters. There is always at least one medical doctor and one nurse working during the week at the health centres of university campuses. However, international students are strongly advised to come to Turkey with a valid health insurance policy. International students are responsible for costs of hospitalization or for any medical service or treatment not available at university health centres. The Health Insurance Policy should cover both Asiatic and European Turkey.

All students holding a Turkish Residency Permit of more than 6 months will automatically be registered at the Turkish Social Security Institution through the centralized system. At a national level however, the Turkish Government requires that all international students get a mandatory local health insurance policy with the Turkish Social Security Institution (SGK) to enable them to benefit health insurance while in Turkey. Students are responsible for their own monthly payments of health insurance contributions.

The insurance will be valid until the end of the academic year. In order to activate the medical insurance, students should go the local health authority with:

  • Resident Permit
  • Passport
  • Student ID
  • Students usually receive an SGK number upon the registration at the health authority.

Medical insurance allows you to buy your medicine by paying 20% of the total amount prescribed by the doctor. There are many state and private hospitals in Turkey. The cost that you are going to pay depends on the pricing policy of each hospital. Some of the hospitals wok under complete agreements with SGK insurance and some of them require extra costs which are not covered by the SGK insurance.

The International Office of the schools you attend can help you in setting up the process.

Besides, private policies can be bought from banks or from specialised insurance offices. You may arrange your private health insurance through the following insurance companies. The main insurance companies have branches in all the big towns.

There is no doubt that Turkey is the perfect place to enjoy a quality education and a relatively good quality of life. What makes it even better is that Turkey offers excellent value for money, with living expenses and tuition costs comparable to other countries.