Over the last few days The Ege Eye has been receiving an increasing amount of enquiries with regard to the rights and responsibilities of foreign nationals resident in Turkey in respect of Universal Health Insurance.
It is clear that the topic is being discussed not only by those of you who may be affected by the 2006 law but by many others who have a wide range of differing opinions on the subject.
As a consequence, albeit with good intention, all kinds of inaccurate and misleading information has been presented as fact by those seeking to clarify the rights and responsibilities of their fellow ex-pat friends and neighbours.
Even our own editorial team has been drawn into the nonsense where it was even claimed that:
“Have just had a phone call from a friend who has been to talk to Karim at the Ege Eye…and then went to speak to Dee at the Belediye…she has been told by both of them that there is no need to worry about this SSK Insurance. She has been assured that nothing is going to happen until later in the year as they don’t know how to deal with us expats”
*(quoted directly from a post on a local forum today)
This kind of false information not only offends those of us who are in the forefront of bringing important and accurate news to the local community but unfairly mis-informs those unsuspecting readers who take what they read to be true. I can assure you that no-one at The Ege Eye office has said or even suggested that “there is no need to worry about this SSK Insurance”
I do not intend on this occasion to even try to correct the long list of inaccuracies that make direct reference to the The Ege Eye, or any of its hardworking and dedicated team, as the purpose of this statement is to bring clarity on what we know, or indeed don’t know, about Law No. 5510. All I will say is
We are at our heart a community-based service and I would like to take the opportunity to thank those of our readers, online and in print, and our Facebook & Twitter followers for their support and assistance with publishing as much accurate news, views and information as we are able to do with the resources that we have. I would like to offer special thanks to an English couple from Soğucak who recently located, printed (and even had nicely bound!) a complete English copy of Law No. 5510 that covers the recently implemented reforms on Social Security and Universal health Insurance in Turkey…..
…..which brings me back to the issue at hand….
Last week we visited the local office of The Social Security Institution with a set of questions which we had ourself been asked by some of our readers. Although they were polite and tried to be helpful we were unable to obtain a definitive enough answer to any of our questions that we felt we could publish as accurate and comprehensive information.
As we opened for business yesterday were were bombarded with calls and e-mails asking for clarification on the claims that were making their rounds on all kinds of media outlets and in many discussions throughout the ex-pat community in every part of Turkey.
As a result, we contacted the Turkish Ministry of health who put us on to their press office who then asked us to write to them with our questions. Below is a copy of the full text of that enquiry which was sent to them this morning.
We intend to see this matter through to its conclusion but can say that at the moment we are in the same position as both the Irish and UK consulates who have submitted written enquiries to the Ministry and are awaiting a reply.
Thank-you for your patience.
The Press Office of The Turkish Ministry of Health.
Thank-you for speaking to me briefly yesterday and for taking the time to address what has become a major concern of many foreign nationals currently resident in Turkey.
We have been advised from several independent sources that The Ministry of Health is discussing suggesting amendments to law 5510 with regard to Social Security and Universal Health Insurance for foreign nationals and, that at this time, foreign nationals who, under clause (d) of article 60 of Law No. 5510, can become holders of Universal Health Insurance;
a) cannot currently obtain Universal Health Insurance.
b) are not required to register as holders of Universal Health Insurance as required by Law No. 5510.
Please take a moment at your earliest opportunity to confirm whether foreign nationals currently resident in Turkey;
a) can, or cannot, currently obtain Universal Health Insurance cover if they meet the criteria set out in Law No. 5510.
b) are, or are not, required to register as holders of Universal Health Insurance if they meet the criteria for registration set out in Law No. 5510.
If access to Universal Health Insurance for foreign nationals is currently not available and/or they are not required to register, our readers would be most appreciative if you could indicate if and when you expect that they may be required to register for UHI or may be able to obtain UHI cover.
As a newspaper that is read by many thousands of foreign nationals ‘The Ege Eye’ would further appreciate receiving a brief notification should any laws regarding the health of foreign nationals resident in Turkey be added or amended.
The Ege Eye.