Health Matters in the TRNC
Although there is NO equivalent to the National Health Service in the TRNC, there are plenty of good doctors, dentists and hospitals, both state and private, along with other health professionals who provide a good to excellent standard of care but it is different from what you would expect in the UK.
Private Medical and Dental treatments are at the cost of the patient and charges vary from one practitioner to another.
The BRS has negotiated discounts with some hospitals for its members and you need to present a valid BRS card to obtain this. Please login and see the members section 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 that 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 the 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.
As members know there has sometimes been a dispute on the discounted price as there has been no written agreement with the patient. Some hospitals have agreed on a formal terms and conditions document that will hopefully clarify matters for all parties. Please see discount list.
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 and diagnosing conditions such as pre-diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiac issues etc. mean they can be treated sooner and prevents complications that can arise if left untreated. In addition, early cancer detection is a lifesaver!
We will endeavour to inform our members of any packages that are being offered at a discounted rate.
In recognition of the GP led service that many expats are used to, some 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 number of hospitals providing this service is increasing an you may wish to enquire at your nearest provider.
Most of the Private Hospitals have their own ambulances and they will take you to their own Accident and Emergency. (A&E) The most commonly used numbers to ring are;
Near East / Dr Suat-Gunsel 153
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.
Here are details of some of the more commonly used hospitals:
- Baskent Hospital Lefkosa - 0392 223 6695 / 0392 223 6588
- British Kolan Hospital - The main hospital is based in Lefkosa and this is where surgery would be done. https://www.kolanbritish.com/home/ 0392 680 8080 In addition there is a clinic in Kyrenia
- Etik Hospital Lefkosa - 0392 223 4694, 223 4764; 2236328 http://www.etikhastanesi.com/
- Guven Hospital Ankara with Girne Office - Yasmin Çaliskan: 0533 842 7349
- Kamiloglu clinic and hospital Girne 0392 815 3282
- Medical Port Tunççevik Hospital 0392 815 0800 http://www.medicalporttunccevik.com/en/. It can be found on the Bellapais Road just before Altinkaya Resort.
- Near East Hospital – The large hospital site is based in Lefkosa http://neareasthospital.com/?lang=en but there is also a clinic/hospital based in Kyrenia in the Karakum area. https://neu.edu.tr/dr-suat-gunsel-hospital-now-in-service/
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.
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 quite 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, some Hospitals offer a domiciliary service at an hourly rate. Again this may vary. 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 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 3000TL per month (FEB 2018). This includes the room, basic nursing care and all meals. Any additional requirements need to be discussed and costs obtained. Please 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.
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.
The BRS hold some mobility aids such as wheelchairs and walking sticks that can be borrowed by members on a short term basis. Contact the BRS Health and Welfare Secretary for further information.