Navigating Healthcare for Foreigners in Turkey: Accessing Medical Care

Turkey has emerged as a sought-after destination for medical tourism, drawing global patients with its combination of affordable and high-quality healthcare.

Yet, a common query arises: can foreigners seek medical care in Turkey without being classified as medical tourists?

The answer is affirmative – foreigners can avail themselves of healthcare services in Turkey, whether or not they possess health insurance.

Public Healthcare for Foreigners in Turkey

Public hospitals in Turkey generally welcome foreigners of any nationality. However, there might be restrictions or additional charges, especially for non-emergency or elective treatments.

In emergencies, foreigners receive treatment on par with Turkish citizens, exempt from upfront payments. Nonetheless, they may need to provide proof of identity and insurance, if applicable.

Private Healthcare in Turkey for Foreigners

Private hospitals in Turkey offer an extensive array of services and amenities compared to their public counterparts.

While their fees for foreigners may be higher, these hospitals often accommodate international health insurance plans, offering greater convenience for those with coverage.

The Cost of Healthcare for Foreigners in Turkey

The cost of healthcare for foreigners in Turkey hinges on factors like treatment type, hospital choice, and the patient’s insurance status.

Generally, these costs are substantially lower than those in many developed countries.

For instance, a consultation with a doctor in a public hospital might cost approximately $50, while the same service in a private hospital could be around $200.

Health Insurance for Foreigners Traveling to Turkey

Foreigners visiting Turkey are strongly advised to procure health insurance, providing coverage for potential medical expenses.

Numerous international health insurance providers offer plans covering Turkey, necessitating a thorough comparison of plans and coverage options before making a decision.

Additional Considerations for Foreigners Seeking Medical Care in Turkey

  • Language Barrier: While English is prevalent in tourist areas, it may not be as widespread in hospitals. Learning basic Turkish phrases can facilitate communication with medical staff.

  • Payment Options: Cash is the predominant payment method in Turkish hospitals, though some may accept credit cards or international money transfers.

  • Negotiation: Negotiating the price of treatment, particularly for non-emergency procedures, is not uncommon in Turkish hospitals.

  • Patience: Turkish healthcare systems may differ in procedures and wait times compared to other countries. Exhibiting patience and politeness when interacting with medical staff is essential.


In conclusion, foreigners can access healthcare services in Turkey, whether insured or not. Public hospitals offer cost-effective treatment, while private hospitals provide personalized care and amenities. However, obtaining health insurance is strongly recommended for peace of mind and coverage of unforeseen medical expenses during the stay.