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Important announcement - Update on SGK

10th February 2014

Latest updates for SGK - All information is from the British Consulate - UKinTurkey

As a result of the British Consulates discussions with the SGK Directorate and a meeting with the Head of SGK on Thursday 6th February 2014, SGK have proposed a change in the existing rules governing the eligibility of British nationals who are in receipt of a UK state pension to register with SGK.

As the British Consulate reported in December 2013, the Pensions Department of the SGK Directorate had decided to benefit from health care under SGK as they were deemed to have cover provided by their own country even where, as with British Nationals, this is not the case.

Due to the Turkish official definition of the term ‘retired’, some British nationals have been removed from the scheme, regardless of whether they were in receipt of a UK state pension or not, in accordance with the ruling. Some British nationals have received letters to the effect, others have found out whilst receiving routine health treatments.

                                                                 [Press release regarding eVisa - Ministry of Foreign Affairs]

The Head of SGK has accepted the Consulates representations, that to remove British nationals from the scheme in this way is unfair treatment, especially as most were forced to join the scheme when it was classed as compulsory. Amending the laws governing eligibility for British nationals in receipt of a UK state pension requires secondary legislation. The British Consulate has been advised by the Head of SGK that the introduction of this legislation would take around a month.

The proposed amendment would allow all British nationals in receipt of a UK state pension to continue to be eligible for healthcare under SGK. However, a person in receipt of such a pension could not be a dependant on their spouse’s membership but must hold individual membership. This is the same rule which applies to Turkish Nationals.

In the meantime, the British Consulate has been informed that, with immediate effect, all policy cancellations/removals of retired British nationals from the scheme should have been stopped.

The British Consulate  will continue to monitor the progress of this amendment and its impact on the British community in Turkey.


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Comments (1)


11th February 2014 "However a person in receipt of such a pension could not be a dependent on their spouses membership but must hold individual membership" This appears to mean that if the spouse holds SGK then the pension holder must have their own SGK. If the pension holder has SGK can their spouse be on their SGK or must they hold separate SGK

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