What is S.G.K?
What is S.G.K.?
S.G.K., or to give it its full name, is Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu is the Turkish government's healthcare program. Health care is compulsory in Turkey for people aged 18 to 65 who want to apply for a residency permit. As foreigners, to apply for a Residency permit, you have to have some form of health insurance. Many opt for private healthcare, but often this is a very basic cover in order to qualify for S.G.K. Some reputable companies offer a more comprehensive cover, but these can be a bit pricey.
After one year of holding a residency permit, you have the right to apply for S.G.K. The process is relatively easy. You have to go to your local S.G.K. office to make an application. Each region has slightly different requirements, so check what you need for your area first. When you visit the hospital as a resident, you will not have access to a translator, so if you can't speak Turkish, it is recommended to take a translator or friend who can help you.
Generally, you will need:
- Copies of passport
- Residency application
- A health assessment from an approved doctor within a University Hospital
- Proof of address from the Goc Idairesi
- A translated and notarised copy of your marriage certificate (if you want your spouse to be added)
- Translated birth certificates for your children (under 18)
- As of March 2022, single or married foreign couples pay 1200.60 TL for S.G.K. This figure does increase annually, so please check the amount you need to pay.
- Some countries also have an agreement with Turkey for reciprocal health insurance (Not for the U.K.) so check if your country is on that list.
What is Covered?
There is an extensive list that you can read about on this link.
You are covered for dental care and optical care, the same as Turkish citizens.
Heart problems are covered as long as they start after joining S.G.K., but if it is a pre-existing illness, it's not covered.
Cancer treatment is exactly the same-pre-existing cancers in the same part of the body are not covered. New cancers found after joining S.G.K. are covered.
No payment towards funeral costs.
If the state hospital is full and you need urgent intensive care style treatment, you will be sent to a private hospital at no extra cost.
Coverage includes most health problems that are not pre-existing and includes operations, treatment, and pregnancy.
Reduced payment for prescriptions
Plastic surgery is not covered under S.G.K. health insurance.
Please note that some private hospitals do accept S.G.K., but you will have to pay towards the cost at a discounted rate. However, it is highly recommended that you check how much the extra charges will be and have them put it in writing.
Finally, when you renew your Residency permit, you will also need to revisit the S.G.K. office to reinstate your coverage.
An excellent site to check for further information and changes to the information is on doc martins surgery for expats page which is where the information for this article was researched from.