Private Healthcare in Turkey

It is worth writing a bit about healthcare.  I recently had to have some emergency dentistry – which then turned into major cosmetic dentistry.  In the UK I have a private dentist and I have had most routine dental procedures going.  I have had root canal surgery on all my bottom molars and then had them rebuilt, I have had impacted wisdom teeth surgically removed, I have more metal in my teeth and jaw than Barry Sheen had in his legs, and I still, despite horrible expense, had lousy teeth.  I hated them, but my dentist never suggested anything cosmetic to improve them.  Well, a few weeks ago, whilst in Turkey I had an abscess under a front tooth and after two days of misery and pain I had to see a dentist.  I saw a charming lady in the private hospital in Kusadasi and after treating the abscess she offered me cosmetic work to correct my overbite and my horrible front teeth.  I went for it!  And in four days I had all my front teeth straightened and crowned with zirconium crowns, I had my gums realigned for a more pleasing aesthetic shape and I had an amazing, natural looking and long lasting smile. 

To say I was amazed was an understatement.  I made enquiries about how much this would have cost in the UK (if it ever been offered to me!), around £4500 (I was a difficult case).  In Turkey it cost just over £800!  Treatment was fast and efficient and the most modern techniques were used.  I am so impressed I am recommending it to all my friends, and we even have relatives coming out in the Spring for a sunny break and a toothy makeover!

It turns out that Turkey is quite the centre for not only cosmetic dentistry but lots of other cosmetic procedures and the tourism association is fostering health tourism to bring people to the country for treatments.  My friend Gabby in Kusadasi says Turkish ladies are extremely fond of cosmetic surgery and botox, liposuction et al are routine as is Laser treatment for eyes.

Routine healthcare here is excellent too.  There are a number of private clinics and hospitals and doctors happily make house calls.  It is hardly worth claiming on your insurance for day to day stuff as to visit a consultant in a hospital costs around 90 ytl and a rigorous yearly medical with blood tests is around 170 ytl.

For full private medical insurance in Turkey there are a number of policies available from banks and mainstream insurance agents. Read the wording carefully and if possible get recommendations from friends as to provider.  For family cover, two adults and school age children you are looking at around 2500 ytl a year for the absolute best in full private cover.  If you don’t have children or are past child bearing age then the cost goes down a lot.  You can also choose to just have hospital cover and pay for minor stuff as you go along. Or you can chose to have cover that offers treatment in the state hospitals, again at a reduced cost.

With all insurance really read the small print, don’t tell lies on the application and think it won’t matter and keep it up to date because you never know when you will need it.

Right, I am off to admire my smile and clean my teeth again, because it’s a pleasure when they are all lovely and straight and shiny.
posted 26-02-2007