How do medical services function in Turkey for EU citizens?

For those who become ill during their stay in Turkey, the treatment processes and billing practices vary on where you come from and what your citizenship is. Generally speaking, patients are divided into the following categories:

  1. Patients from the states of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, i.e. those who carry a European Health Insurance Card
  2. Patients from countries with bilateral agreements
  3. Patients who cannot present a proper Proof of Claim

Patients from the states of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland

With the introduction of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC, for “European Health Insurance Card”) on 1 July 2004, access to medical treatment has become much easier for many medically insured patients abroad.

If a patient who is insured in other EEA countries or Switzerland, in the practice, they can present their European Health Insurance Card or a “certificate” as a provisional replacement for the European Health Insurance Card (Provisional Replacement Certificate PEB) as a Proof of Claim prior to treatment. This may apply to people who are staying temporarily in Germany, and whose primary purpose of stay is not medical treatment related; e.g. for tourists, students, and expatriates.

The following countries of the European Union form the so-called European Economic Area, and take part in the process:

Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Cyprus (Greece).

Eligible patients are entitled to all services, provided that they can prove that their stay is medically necessary. That is, their treatment requires urgent care, such as a viral infection or broken arm, but also illnesses which are chronic or have arisen suddenly from early detection. In these cases, the further treatment of the disease is possible, if this was not the purpose of entry into Turkey.

Patients from countries with bilateral agreements

A person who resides in a country with a bilateral agreement on social security shall be entitled to treatment for sickness or maternity-related causes, by the state’s health facilities. The following countries have bilateral agreements: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Tunisia.

The scope of services available to the citizens of these countries is significantly more limited than for patients from EEA countries or Switzerland. For persons who are temporary residents of Europe, the services may be provided only if the patient’s condition makes medical treatment immediately required, i.e. it is not realistic to delay the treatment the person’s return to their home state.

When not immediately necessary, benefits as are as follows:

  • Screening for early detection of diseases – except in children who were born during the temporary stay in Europe
  • Medical advice on issues of birth control, including the necessary investigation and regulation of conception
  • Medical services in a non-illegal abortion

People who have already been diagnosed with a disease, prior to entry into Turkey, can only claim medical attention if their foreign carrier has authorized this.

Patients who cannot present the proper Proof of Claim

Where a person does not hold a valid European Health Insurance
Card, or substitute certificate and proof of identity, or a settlement bill before requiring treatment, you are still entitled to, and medical services are obliged to treat you, under an allowance provided by the government.

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