Hospital’s in Istanbul
When travelling to a foreign country the hospitals (hastane) abroad are not normally something you think of much but it’s best to have an appreciation of them & hope there is no need to visit one! Like most countries, in Turkey there are Government Hospitals & Private ones. Over the last four years I have been to both quite a few times for other people so I have gotten used to the system.
I have heard stories of Private hospitals charging thousands for operations but my own personal experience with them has been quite inexpensive. My father fell last year whilst walking in Taksim and fractured his wrist, after locals had run to help him get up we took him to a Private hospital to get checked out. I chose a Private hospital because it was their first time in Turkey and I did not want them to be overwhelmed by spending too long in a crowded place, naturally it is much faster to be seen by a Private hospital. We had an appointment with the doctor, X-Ray and MRI Scan with cast applied within 1 hour of entering the hospital. And we even go to keep a picture of the scan! In total it cost £200. This could have undoubtedly cost much less in a public hospital, but it would have also taken a lot longer.
My main advice for hospitals, whichever you choose to go to, is ensure that you have Travel Insurance which covers Turkey. (Remember Turkey is not always considered to be in Europe, so ensure it specifically states Turkey!).
Where to buy headache pills like Paracetamol
If you need to purchase pills for headaches whilst in Istanbul you will need to go to an Eczane (Pharmacy) as it cannot be bought from supermarkets like Migros as it can in the UK.
Pharmacy in Turkey (Eczane)
If you have a cold, earache from the flight or a bad headache then the best thing to do is visit a Pharmacy (Eczane). If you have a simple issue then the male or female Pharmacist will be able to diagnose you and give you the appropriate medicine.
One prominent difference between the UK and Turkey is that in Turkey you cannot buy medicine such as Ibuprofen or Paracetamol in Supermarkets, you need to buy it from a Pharmacy. On the flip side, you can buy pretty much anything from a Pharmacy without a doctors prescription.
General Health Tips
- The water in Istanbul Is safe to drink, however it does not taste very good due to the filtration method. A very high proportion of the population of Istanbul will buy mineral water from the shops to drink, you should do the same. That being said, it is perfectly safe to brush your teeth with!
- It is advisable that you check with your doctor to see if you need any vaccinations before you travel.
- Turkey can be very hot, drink plenty of water! Drink more than you think you need. Water can be bought everywhere.