We here at The Ege Eye are closely following any new developments regarding the Universal Health Scheme for foreign citizens.
A recent update on the British Embassy in Ankara website states the following:
As we posted yesterday, we are aware of the confusion and concern in the community over the new healthcare requirements for certain foreign nationals that the Turkish authorities have just announced; and over the additional confusion caused by the way in which regional offices are apparently applying the new policy inconsistently.
As those who have lived in Turkey for some time will recall, we were initially told in 2010 that a compulsory healthcare scheme was going to be launched. We were later informed that implementation had been delayed until December 2012; and then that the scheme was likely to be cancelled.
In the meantime, some British nationals wanted to join the scheme and were able to do so. However, late last year some people experienced problems relating to their pension/NHS status. They asked us to assist, which we did.
We were not officially notified by the Turkish authorities that the scheme was being reintroduced this year and that it would be compulsory for all long-term residents.
The Turkish authorities have now announced that the scheme became effective on 1/1/12. In the document passed to us, it appears that once a non-Turkish resident completes one year of residence in Turkey, they must apply to join the scheme. It applies to all nationalities not covered by the health scheme of their own country. British nationals who have lived in Turkey for one year will receive a letter about joining the scheme and then have one month to register.
We are in touch with the Turkish authorities, including through the Ambassador, to register our concern; to discuss the implications of this measure if it is implemented as announced; and to protect the interests of our community.
We would like to thank those of you who have taken the trouble to write to us. We will keep you informed of developments through our website and facebook pages.”
As this article suggests all expats residing in Turkey who are eligable to join this scheme should wait for their letter to arrive before taking any action.
We will keep you informed of any further developments as we get them.