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My life as an Expat in Turkey - Health care in Turkey

21st March 2016

During my twenty plus years of living in Turkey, like most people I have had health problems. However, despite what many fellow expats might think, health care in Turkey is extremely good.

A steady growing number of people come here from their own countries to have operations carried out. 

In general, health care here is far better than in say England, where there are long waiting lists of people waiting to see a specialist doctor.

In Turkey, you can usually see one within a few days of making an appointment, with the test results available in a couple of days. There are many new hospitals fitted with the latest technology, with top specialists in all field of health care available. You will find that in many major hospitals, they have English speaking doctors and nurses, with many having translators available. 

On a note of caution It is highly advisable you have your own personal health care policy. This under recent changes for expats holding a Turkish residence permit is necessary.
However, should you come under these latest rules, you can become a member of the Turkish SGK health system. 

In Istanbul the charges for medical treatment in the numerous hospitals can vary considerably. Therefore, if you have to pay for treatment, (if possible) it is best to check out costs from several hospitals.

On a personal note, I myself have had two operations here, with my well satisfied with both the operation and care received. A third occurred when after having a blackout I was taken to hospital. After tests were conducted, I had three stents fitted in my heart. As I had been once informed after doing a stress test I would never have a heart problem, this came as a bit of a shock. However, since having them fitted three years ago, I have had no problems.

Dental treatment I have also found to be good, with the results highly satisfactory.

In general, I have no concerns about receiving medical treatment in Turkey.  I certainly would not return back to my home country England for treatment.


About Author:

My name is Colin Guest, a retired 74 year old Englishman married to a Turkish lady and living in Istanbul, Turkey.
Since starting my working life as an apprentice joiner/shopfitter in Plymouth, Devon, England, I worked my way up to become a foreman shopfitter, and later a supervisor, project supervisor, finishes advisor and head of a quality control team on a 52 storey luxury apartment block.
Over the course of nineteen years, I have worked with both architects and interior design companies, with my both advising and controlling interior finishing works on several palaces and a number of five star hotels. These were spread through fifteen countries in the Middle, Far East and North Africa.
As I have always enjoyed writing, apart from writing and publishing my e book An Expat's Experiences of Living in Turkey
Due to my rather different style of working life, I have written “Follow in the Tigermans Footsteps.”

Although a memoir, it reads more like an adventure book and includes many thrilling, crazy, humorous and several life threatening experiences I encountered during this incredible time of my life. Instead of a boring 9-5 job, I enjoyed a life most only dream about.

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