Turkey’s population is approximately 74 million. It’s bordered by Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Ankara is the capital and Turkish is the official language.
How to access emergency services: Call 112 for ambulance service.
Currency: Turkish lira (TRY)
Recommended immunizations and vaccines for travelers: Before traveling to Turkey, ask your doctor what vaccines are recommended. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are excellent resources as well.
Insurance: Find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures. In Turkey, doctors generally expect payment in cash. If you are required to pay upfront, keep all documentation. Some policies ask you to call a center in your home country (reverse charges) for an immediate assessment of your problem.
It’s also worth ensuring your travel insurance will cover ambulances or transport either home or to more advanced medical facilities, if needed. Not all insurance covers emergency medical evacuation home by plane or to a hospital in a major city, which may be the only way to receive medical attention in a serious emergency.
Source: International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers
What to expect in a Turkish Hospital: The standard of the health care system in Turkey is variable. For basic care for things such as cuts and bruises, you could ask for the local sağulık ocağuı (health center), but most staff will speak Turkish. Your insurance company may be able to provide assistance and locate the nearest source of medical help; otherwise ask at your hotel or lodging.
Compared to state hospitals where staff is unlikely to speak English, a private hospital will give you an English-speaker to accompany you on your appointment, or ensure you are seen by an English-speaking doctor. Many doctors in private hospitals now train abroad. Waiting times are usually shorter and you can buy any prescriptions from the hospital pharmacy. Depending where you holiday, you may have to travel to the next town for your nearest private hospital.
Source: World Health Organization
Contact your embassy/consulate: When in doubt, your country’s embassy is a good resource to turn to for medical assistance guidance.
JCI-accredited Hospitals/Clinics in Turkey: To read about specific facilities that are JCI- accredited, visit the Hospital Search section.
Turkey-specific helpful health resources:
Travel Health Notices: Visit the CDC or the WHO for up-to-date travel notices.