Health services in Istanbul are excellent. You might be surprised at the level of attention that you will receive. Istanbul has world-class hospitals and medical facilities and for a fraction of the cost in European cities. This has lead to the rise of medical tourism in Turkey.
In Istanbul, there are more private hospitals than public ones. Public hospitals may not be to the standard that you are used to and therefore, for ex-pats, they should seek healthcare at the private facilities. Therefore one must have their health insurance organized before relocating.
Health Insurance for Expatriates in Turkey & Istanbul
Whilst medical treatments in Istanbul are much more affordable than in western cities, costs can add up in the event of a serious accident or illness. As a traveller and an ex-pat, you want your health insurance to cover you in your adopted country but also whilst travelling and visiting home.
The European Health Insurance Card that covers free medical treatment in EU countries does NOT cover Turkey.
There are many different companies offering insurance for ex-pats and this can get confusing. We have made it simple. We believe that Global Health Insurance has the most to offer. You can check out our health insurance policy for ex-pats and request a quote by filling out the form here.
You will receive a detailed plan, quote and additional information from one of our health insurance experts.
Hospitals and Medical Clinics
Hospitals and medical clinics in Istanbul are modern and first-class. They use the latest technology and equipment. It’s not unusual to be served a coffee or tea whilst sitting in the waiting room for your appointment. Doctors and nurses are friendly and caring. A lack of Turkish is not a concern as most doctors and nurses will speak English.
Here is a list of Istanbul’s most prominent hospitals:
American Hospital is in Nişantaşı, an upscale neighborhood of Istanbul.
Acibadem International Hospital is in Yesilköy.
The Memorial Hospital is in Şişli.
Florence Nightingale Hospital is also in Şişli.
In the case of an emergency, you can contact the ambulance service can by dialing 112. However, those at the call center may not understand English. Many of the private hospitals have their own private ambulances. These private ambulances will be faster.
Turkish people put a lot of faith in their pharmaceutical medicines. Therefore, there are many pharmacies in every town and city. Look for the sign Eczaneler. There are many in Istanbul.
Often you can receive your prescription medicines over the counter. You can purchase antibiotics without a prescription. The pharmacist is legally allowed to diagnose and offer the appropriate course of treatment.
Pharmacies are open from Monday to Saturday 09:00 to 19:30, closed on Sunday. Most neighborhoods will have a 24-hour pharmacy for emergencies. Look for the sign nöbetçi ezcane.
You can search for a 24-hour pharmacy in your neighborhood here.
Doctors and Specialists
There are many English-speaking doctors in Istanbul. Often the best way to find one is through word of mouth. You could also contact your consulate for a list. If you need to see a specialist, you will require a referral from a doctor. You will require a doctor’s referral to have an ultrasound, MRI or blood tests.
Medicus Outpatient Services offers outpatient services and consultations in your home. A doctor will come to your home or hotel within the hour to assess your condition. The doctors and nurses with Medicus speak English and German.