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Health Matters in the TRNC

   

There is NO equivalent to the National Health Service in the TRNC. All Medical and Dental treatments are at the cost of the patient and charges vary from one practitioner to another.

There are plenty of good doctors, dentists and hospitals, both state and private, in the TRNC, along with other health professionals. The standard of care is generally good to excellent, but it is different from what we expect in the UK.

THE BRS has negotiated discounts with some hospitals but you have to present a valid BRS card to obtain this. Please see the discount list for full details.

It’s worth noting that you will be expected to pay your hospital bill in full when you are discharged. Bear in mind if paying by debit card or withdrawing cash from a cash machine, most banks set a daily limit on how much you can have per day and your hospital bill is likely to exceed this! When being admitted for a procedure you should take your passport with you as the hospital holds this and returns it to you on discharge, when you have settled your bill.

ALWAYS ask about cost of treatment before you agree to go ahead with it and ask for something in writing. It is advisable to get a second opinion on what is being recommended as well as getting alternative quotes. NB The Guven Hospital Office in Kyrenia on Bellapais Road will give a 2nd opinion free of charge.

As members know there has sometimes been a dispute on the discount price as there has been no written agreement with the patient. The Kolan is the first hospital to agree on a formal terms and conditions document that will hopefully clarify matters for all parties. A sample of this document can be downloaded here.

Doctors and Dentists issue prescriptions but such medicines are payable at cost by the patient. If you are receiving a regular prescription in the UK please take care to check the availability and cost of any medicines you may require.

A British citizen, with an up to date European Health Insurance Card, visiting Cyprus as a tourist, can be treated in a Republic of Cyprus state (not private) hospital or you can choose to seek and pay for private treatment in South Cyprus. There are restrictions on this and for full details on the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), see the relevant section.

The main hospitals frequently provide health prevention screening packages, which offer a raft of investigations at a much-reduced price. There are differing opinions on health screening, some say it throws up ‘conditions’ that require further investigation that turn out to be benign and need to treatment, causing unnecessary stress and worry. The other opinion is that finding a diagnosing conditions such as pre-diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiac issues etc. mean they can be treated sooner and prevent complications that can arise if left untreated. In addition early cancer detection is a lifesaver!

We will endeavour to inform members when screening packages are available and it’s up to individuals to take them up or not.

GP Clinics

In recognition of the GP led service that many expats are used to hospitals and clinics have set up a system whereby you can ‘register’ with them and they offer GP style clinics with referral to a specialist as required. Specialist referrals are often next day or within the same week. You can register with as many clinics as you like!

The Kamiloglu clinic and Dr. Suat Günsel Hospital of University of Kyrenia (Near East), both have hospital facilities on site. The British Kolan Kyrenia Clinic can do some investigations on site but offer a free transfer to Lefkosa for further treatment, should it be required.

Ambulances

Most of the Private Hospitals have their own ambulances and they will take you to their own Accident and Emergency. (A&E) The numbers to ring are;

Near East / Dr Suat-Gunsel153

British Kolan 0392 680 8080

State Hospital Ambulance 112.

Be aware that there is no postcode generated satellite navigation system nor freely available street maps so you may need a friend to meet with the ambulance and guide it to you, if you are not near to a well known location.

State Hospital A&E - Many minor injuries are treated quickly and without cost in the emergency room of the state hospitals. It is local practice that the first port of call during an illness is the local pharmacist who provides free advice, or will recommend a visit to a doctor.

Hospital details

There are a number of other hospitals and we have just listed the ones our members have tended to use. Details of hospitals in other areas of North Cyprus will soon be added.

Pharmacies

There are numerous pharmacies in North Cyprus and most of the pharmacists and staff speak English. As in the UK they can help with minor illnesses and recommend treatments or where appropriate, advise you to seek medical attention. The Cyprus today newspaper, which is printed every Saturday, has a list of duty pharmacies that are open.

Nursing Care/Home Care

Standards of nursing care are very different here to the UK. In the State Hospital it is relatives and friends who are expected to provide the nursing care.

The private hospitals do have nurses who provide the care, most of whom have been trained in Turkey. Standards of care can be variable.

On discharge from hospital if you require help with basic chores and or basic hygiene, dressings etc, The  Kolan Hospital offer a domiciliary  service at a cost of £10 per hour. This includes travel time and fuel costs. They can provide purely 'domestic' duties, basic hygiene, providing lunch, light housework etc. If nursing care is required, such as injections and dressings etc this can also be provided. Again I would urge full clarification on requirements and costs. For the Kolan service call 0392 680 8080 and ask for Lorraine or Seda. This is the number for the hospital in Lefkosa where Lorraine and Seda are based. For normal ‘GP’ appointments there is the usual number for the Girne Kolan clinic.

For respite care or end of life care etc. Dr. Suat Günsel Hospital of University of Kyrenia offer a "Geriatric Service" where  a person can stay with them 24/7 at a basic cost of 2,500TL per month. This includes the room, basic nursing care and all meals. Any additional requirements need to be discussed and costs obtained. Pleas note there are no communal facilities here and most patients that take up this service spend the majority of time in their rooms. This can be used for a variety of reasons, e.g. respite care, end of life care or for a longer stay following surgery. If it is for less than a month then it should be a pro-rata charge. I cannot stress enough that you discuss exactly what you require and ascertain costs and that if the hospital fee additional chargeable services are required at any stage that the hospital discuss this with the bill payer before initiating them. For the Near East Service I recommend you call the clinic on 0392 650 2600 and ask for Diana. For a standard clinic appointment it’s the same number but anyone that answers should be able to make you an appointment

In addition there are a number of individuals who have a care or nursing background who offer domiciliary care. I am unaware of any checks on their qualifications but I know people have used them and been satisfied.