Travel Health

Travel health is not an issue to worry for traveling to Turkey. But if you want to be on the safe side, here you will find all necessary (even more than necessary) information.

I know, this is your holiday and you don't want to think about being ill. You are absolutely right… But you know the Murphy’s rules right?

“Geçmiş Olsun!” as we say to someone who is ill, meaning: “Might it be gone”!


Here are some hints about emergency cases and travel health in Istanbul, just in case:

Travel Risks:

There is no serious travel health risk associated with traveling to Turkey.

No vaccinations are required for entry.

In the hospitals mentioned below, you are offered an excellent service and consultation with English speaking doctors.

Staying Healthy:

  • Sun-struck:
  • July-August are the most hot and humid months of the year. If you are visiting the city during this time, it would be wise to bring sunblock lotion and a hat with you.

    And always carry a bottle of water. You may not realize while walking and exploring but you can get sun-struck. Heat and intensity of the sun can be unbelievably high.

  • Diarrhea and Food Poisoning:
  • Food poisoning and diarrhea are mild illnesses associated with travel to Turkey. The sudden change of food and water can cause stomach and intestine problems.

    Avoid eating food that stays open for long hours during summer months. Make sure you don’t go overboard on the spicy foods too.

    A simple diarrhea usually fades away on its own. If you are only rushing to toilet without any other symptoms, then you are having a small problem.

    If the problem is not causing you so much trouble you can consider consulting a pharmacist. They speak English and will provide an effective remedy like Ercefuryl. But if the problem becomes inconvenient, go to a hospital.

    If you experience diarrhea not improving after 48 hours, seek medical help urgently.

    Dehydration is the main danger with any diarrhea. Fluid replacement is important. You should drink lots of fluids in small amounts but very often.

    Bottled water, tea with a little sugar, soda water, or soft drinks allowed to go flat are all advisable.

    Food-poisoning symptoms are headaches, nausea and/or stomachache, diarrhea, fever and chills. If you get food poisoning, seek medical help.

    Always drink bottled water and wash fruits thoroughly before eating. Although water from the tap is chlorinated and generally safe to drink, we locals drink bottled water. Drinking tap water won’t make you sick but it tastes like chlorine more than water.

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What To Do If You Get Sick Anyway:

If you do get sick,

  • You can ask your concierge to recommend a local doctor. Local doctors speak English mostly.
  • You can try the emergency room of one of the private hospitals or state hospitals. This depends on what kind of service you want and how much you are willing to pay. (Yes, it is a cruel world!!)

Medical Care and Facilities:

Istanbul has good medical facilities, very good private hospitals, an excellent ambulance service, plenty of excellent doctors and more than enough pharmacies all around the city.

You can be sure to have a good medical care here. Considering the “Health Tourism” is a serious business here, there is no need to worry.

State hospitals are better equipped and cheaper than private hospitals, but very often they do not reach the standards Europeans and Americans are used to.

Private hospitals are generally less crowded and give better service.

If you are using medication for a chronic illness, consult your doctor before your departure. Pack prescription medications in your carry-on luggage, and carry them in their original containers, with pharmacy labels. Otherwise there is a risk of not getting them through airport security.

- The Turkish word for hospital is “HASTANE”, read as "hus-tuh-nay"

- The Turkish word for pharmacy/chemistry/drugstore is "ECZANE", read as "age-zahn-nay"

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Hospitals & Contact Info:

Here the names and addresses of some of the establishments with reliable English-speaking staff:

  • American Hospital
  • It is a private establishment with US administration, all doctors speak English.

    It is 2 km. northeast of Taksim Square.

    It has a dental clinic.

    A standard consultation costs 140 TL. Credit cards are accepted.

    General Info:

    Adress: Güzelbahce Sok., Nişantaşi

    Tel: (0212) 311 20 00

    Info:

  • German Hospital
  • It is a private establishment with German administration, all doctors speak English.

    This hospital is a few hundred meters south of Taksim Square.

    It also has eye and dental clinics.

    A standard consultation costs 120 TL. Credit cards are accepted.


    General Info:

    Adress: Siraselviler Street. No: 119, Taksim

    Tel: (0212) 293 21 50

    Info:

  • Metropolitan Florence Nightingale Hospital
  • It is a private establishment with US administration, all doctors speak English.

    It is 5 km. northeast of Taksim Square.

    It has a dental clinic.

    A standard consultation costs 140 TL. Credit cards are accepted.


    General Info:

    Adress: Cemil Aslangüder Street, No: 8, Gayrettepe

    Tel: (0212) 288 34 00

    Info:


  • International Hospital
  • It is a private establishment. All doctors speak English.

    It is very close to Atatürk International Airport in Yeşilköy.

    Credit cards are accepted.


    General Info:

    Adress: Yeşilyurt, Istanbul

    Tel: (0212) 663 30 00

    Info:


  • Taksim Emergency Hospital
  • It is a state establishment. The doctors speak English.

    This hospital is a few hundred meters south of Taksim Square.

    Charges are the same whether or not you’re a foreign visitor/resident or a Turkish citizen.

    This is a more economic solution than private hospitals.


    General Info:

    Adress: Sıraselviler Street, Taksim

    Tel: (0212) 252 43 00

    Info:

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Pharmacies:

There are no drugstores in Turkey. And the names of the medicines may vary. You may not be able to find your regular medicine, not in the same name. Pharmacists will be able to assist you but if you are using a medicine regularly it's always best to bring your own.

Pharmacies (eczane) operate on a rotating schedule at night so that one is always open. You can find the address of the “On night-duty pharmacy”, on the window of any pharmacy. (Turkish: “Nöbetçi” means on-duty).

Pharmacists in Turkey are qualified to provide some medical services such as taking blood pressure, giving injections, bandaging minor injuries, and suggesting medication. You can obtain your travel health easily for minor issues, in pharmacies.

Nearly all drugs can be bought without a prescription. Pharmacists might sell heavy antibiotics with lots of side-effects!

If you need an antibiotic please make sure that you first go to a medical doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Ambulance Services:

  • State Ambulance:
  • Dial 112 for emergency ambulance service. This code is valid all around Turkey.

  • Medline :
  • It is a private company equipped to deal with any medical crisis, including ambulance transfers (cost varies according to distance), lab tests, and home treatment.

    Tel: 0212 444 12 12

Dental Care:

When someone mentions Travel Health, dental pain is the first thing that comes to mind.

Hopefully you will never need these numbers:

  • Dentist Dental Hospital
  • Dentist is one of the best places to go in an oral emergency.


    General Info:
    Adress: Yıldız, BeşiktaşTel: 0212 444-0-DIS or 0212 327 40 20Info: www.dentistanbul.com

  • Private Hospitals:
  • Nearly all private hospitals have their own dental clinics.

Travel Health Insurance:

In Turkey, hospitals expect you to pay immediately for their services.

Usually you will get the money back from your insurance and the services are much cheaper than in Europe or the U.S...

Turkey doesn’t have health-care arrangements with other countries so having travel health insurance is highly advisable.

Travel health insurance is a very cheap insurance package that your insurance company can provide in your country.

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