Healthcare in Turkey operates under the guidance of the Fundamental Law on Healthcare Services No. 3359, with oversight and enforcement handled by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and its various branches. These branches, including the Directorate of Healthcare Services, the Directorate of Emergency Healthcare Services, the Directorate of Amelioration of Health, the Directorate of Health Surveys, and the Directorate of Health Investments, work in tandem to regulate healthcare delivery.
Healthcare system in Turkey primarily relies on a network of public healthcare institutions, where the state serves as the primary healthcare provider. This network encompasses public hospitals, training and research hospitals, university hospitals, and clinics administered by local authorities. However, private hospitals, services within university hospitals, polyclinics, and independently practicing doctors also offer healthcare services. It’s worth noting that the preference for private healthcare services is increasing, although both public and private healthcare entities fall under MoH regulation.
The majority of the Turkish population, which includes the active workforce, retirees, and their dependents, is covered by Social Security Insurance (SSI). Private insurance, on the other hand, is limited to a minority of the population. SSI health insurance covers almost all treatments available in public healthcare facilities, with the exception of non-essential procedures like cosmetic surgery. Emergency services at private healthcare institutions are also covered for insured individuals under SSI.
Digitalization has made significant strides in Turkey’s healthcare system, particularly with the introduction of the e-Pulse (e-Nabız) personal health record system in 2015. This system operates under the legal framework of Personal Health Data Regulation No. 30808 and MoH Circular No. 2016/6. e-Pulse aims to empower citizens by granting them access to and control over their personal health records, aligning with the principles outlined in Article 20 of the Turkish Constitution.
Through e-Pulse, individuals, healthcare professionals, and authorized third parties can access patient health information and medical histories, while individuals have the option to request amendments or deletions of their health data. Turkey has also gained prominence as a destination for medical and health tourism, ranking among the top 10 global destinations in this regard, according to the American Journal of Medicine. The country’s attractiveness in this field is driven by affordability and safety. Various laws and regulations, such as the Law on the Method of Execution of Medicine and Medical Sciences No.
1219, the Fundamental Law on Healthcare Services No. 3359, the Regulation Regarding International Medical Tourism and Tourist Health (Health Regulation), along with bilateral agreements, govern medical services and health tourism.The Health Regulation, outlined in Article 1, sets out the minimum standard rules for international health services and authorizes health institutions and intermediary bodies involved in these healthcare activities. It also stipulates the criteria and requirements for obtaining standard licenses for companies offering international health tourism services.
As of February 2022, Turkey has introduced the Regulation on the Provision of Remote Health Services, enabling the delivery of healthcare independent of location through modern technology. This regulation defines the procedures and principles governing remote health services and the supervision of healthcare facilities offering such services. Health facilities aiming to provide remote health services must obtain a distance health service activity permit from the Ministry. These services can include examinations, medical observations, counseling, psychosocial support, e-prescriptions, and the issuance of e-reports, all provided remotely, subject to technological feasibility and Ministry approval. In some cases, even surgical operations can be conducted remotely, provided that appropriate technology and permission from the Ministry are secured.
Azkan Group can support you in your Employer of Record (EOR) and payroll requests (also called Umbrella Company) in Turkey. We can manage your HR requests even if you don’t have a legal entity in Turkey.