Istanbul - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Medical care, for the region, is excellent. Compared to western-level care, it ranges from adequate to terrible. Routine things are easy to take care of between the Consulate RN and local doctors, many of whom speak some level of English. Many prescriptions are over the counter and cheaper than in the US. If you stray from routine care, that is where it gets dicey. We had two minor emergencies there that involved emergency room visits. While the issues themselves should not have been life threatening, they turned life threatening quickly when the doctors and nurses were unable (in both ability and regulatory terms) to adequately address the issue. None of the nurses, triage staff, or administrators spoke English, and few of the doctors did. In one instance, my child almost died while we begged nurses, via Google translate using spotty hospital WIFI, to administer life-saving medication. An actual doctor only saw my child twice in the space of 4 days in the hospital, as most care is administered by nurses. The situation was repeated, to a lesser degree, when we had to go into the ER for another minor issue in the middle of the night. Both of these experiences were at the private, Consulate-recommended "American" hospitals. I had other friends who had similar experiences - routine care was great, but emergencies were painful, lengthy, and complication-ridden experiences with at times long-lasting physical after-effects that had to be remedied at later dates at US medical facilities. These experiences very much moderated my opinion of the available medical care. Many people chose to give birth, get plastic surgery, and have other elective services completed in Turkey, and for the most part I think they go well; however, I would urge caution in assuming you are going to receive Western-level care and cleanliness. - Aug 2021

Health care is less expensive than the U.S., faster than the U.S. and good quality. We managed to get a consultation, MRI, CT and xrays completed in 2 hours start to finish for about $1100 (and insurance will reimburse most of that). The language barrier is the biggest problem, with many doctors speaking good conversational English but struggling more with communicating medical issues. - Sep 2017

Excellent health-care if you can afford it. Sound familiar? - Oct 2010

excellent and cheap - Jan 2010

Actually excellent and pharmacies here have everything over the counter - Jan 2010

Nothing in particular. A few hospitals seem to cater to expats. There are many Western-educated doctors and dentist throughout town. - Dec 2009

Medical care in Turkey is excellent. Be advised, however, that most doctor's offices or hospitals do not accept US insurance. Each visit must be paid in full and claims must be filed afterward. - Dec 2009

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