The healthcare system in Turkey is very different from the ones in Turkey’s neighboring countries, as Turkey is considered a pioneer in healthcare systems and applications.
There are four places in Turkey that can provide health services:
Government hospitals, private hospitals, private clinics and health units.
Government Hospitals: Devlet Hastanesi
Government hospitals are the most prominent and the best in the provision of healthcare services. They are also subject to strict control from the Turkish government, and are recipients of huge governmental support. Fostering the doctor, the nurse, and the worker is one of the most important factors of success regarding the healthcare system in Turkey. Government hospitals are distinct for not discriminating among patients, whether in the way of treatment or from the medical bill paid. University hospitals also feature specialized research centers that develop health operations and treatment methods day after day.
Private Hospitals: Özel Hastaneler
They are the most expensive, and are mostly available in big cities rather than small ones. They are also under the control of the Turkish government and the Ministry of Health. In some cases, they lack some of the facilities and services available in government hospitals.
Private clinics: Özel Klinikler
They are the least available since dentists are the only ones allowed to open a private clinic. Doctors from other specialties, only after receiving the title of professor, are allowed to open private clinics then.
Health units: Sağlık Ocağı
They are found all over the cities. Each residential area has a health unit, which employs an internist, a general practitioner and a pediatrician. Periodic vaccinations are given free of charge in these health units. Their main purpose was to serve the scarcely inhabited and remote areas, that usually lack government hospitals, but due to the development of the healthcare system in Turkey, they now serve alongside these hospitals.
Drugs are sold in private pharmacies in all regions and cities of Turkey, and pharmacies are subject to strict and somehow difficult rules for Turkey’s newcomers. For example:
- Working hours for all pharmacies are from 8 A.M to 7 P.M only.
- Sunday is a compulsory vacation for all pharmacies.
- At the same time, one pharmacy stays open past working hours in each neighborhood from 7 pm till the next morning and is called (NÖBETÇİ ECZANE) ; the same goes for Sunday too. Rotations among NÖBETÇİ pharmacies are conducted according to a monthly schedule. All you need to do is log on to the internet and check for the NÖBETÇİ pharmacy in your area, or go to any pharmacy after the official working hours and you will find a paper hanging on its door telling you the name, address and telephone numbers of the NÖBETÇİ pharmacy in this area.
You can access this site and choose your city and region and you will find the addresses and phone numbers of the pharmacies operating in NÖBETÇİ
You can also download Eczane app; which provides map services for easier access.
- It is not allowed to sell some medicines except through a prescription issued by a hospital and stamp-approved by a doctor. For example: antibiotics, drugs for cardiac and nerves conditions, as well as optical and respiratory medicines, etc.
- It is not allowed to give a syringe to a patient in the pharmacy; he/she should go to the hospital if they want to take a syringe.
- Medicines are sold either by a prescription or by an insurance code, on which your medicines are registered. This point is explained in detail in health insurance articles in Turkey.
- The Turkish government is willing to provide free medicine to its citizens and has already taken clear steps in the implementation of this project, where almost 80% of drug prices are deducted for those who have government health insurances.