Reform of Turkey Health Care System

As we known, every health care system has great important influences of a country’s working. Health care system means the complex of facilities, organizations and trained people engaged to service clients that who need health treatment. In another word every health care system is one of the most basic infrastructures construction for the following reasons. According to Gapminder, I found that the health care of Turkey in 2003 has changed a lot, which made me want to find out the reason.

The significance of health care

First of all, the condition of every health care system in a country and every economic situation have influences on each other. On the one hand, a good health care system is equal to a good economic system. A good health care system means that when there are some diseases come out, the population have a place to combat the diseases. Because there is financial support both from the country and individuals at the same time.

As a result, a big area disease will not cause the government financial burden, which can influence the economic development of a country. At the same time, a good economic condition means the health care systems can be gotten more support from the government, organizations and individuals. On the other hand, a bad health care system means that when diseases came out, the population had no money or chance to get the suitable treatment.

These diseases may have a great influence not only in a small area, even more influence the whole country.

Therefore, the economic system can be broken down by diseases. On the other side, the economic satiations decide how much the government and individuals can devote to health care system. Considering the financial situation of poor countries, there is no doubt that they cannot put too much energy and budget into the health care system, which causes the health care system cannot fight with diseases successfully sometimes.

Secondly, it is very good to devote to health care systems. Because health care system can create jobs to release the unemployment problem. At the same time, the healthcare system can influence the GDP of a country.

Departed of health care in Turkey

By considering the essential of the health care system, Turkey has been devoting to developing health care system for so many decades. The attempts of the developments and reforms in Turkey’s Health Financing system can be divided into three phases:

  1. 1923 to 1960, the government focused on solving the shortage of finance budget and manpower, therefore the government established many units to fight diseases and dealing with patients.
  2. 1960 to 1983, due to reunited of the organization called Social Insurance Organization for blue-collar workers, there were another insurance organizations established to distribute the government stress on funding money and delivering patients. The organizations are The Social Insurance Agency for Merchants, Artisans and self-employees, and the Government Retirement Fund.
  3. 1983 to 1990s, in this period, the health financing system was no longer the duty of government only. The social and individual undertook more responsibilities on developing health financing system. Health financing system became a kind of public management service.

Despite all the attempts are positive, Turkey’s health system was still below the average states of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development members. The health system situation in Turkey is that still less 70 percent of the population can be protected by health care system.

What’s more, people who had the insurance had the chance that they cannot be treated in time, if they were ill.
The main reason for the failure of health care system is that there are inequalities between blue-collar workers, self-employees, and white collar workers.

Current of health care in Turkey

In order to develop the Health Financing system and dismiss these inequalities, Turkey’s government did a series of reform according to Health Transformation Program, which was announced by The Ministry of Health, Turkey, 16, November 2002 (Prof. Dr. Recep Akda? 2009).

The aim of this program is “health for all” (Bostan 2013). In other words, government would like to improve the satiation of public health care, create the health insurance for all citizens, regardless of the classes and incomes, expand access to health care, like provide more beds, more facilities, more public hospitals and clinics to treat patients, and create patients’ centered system to record the health situation of the patients, in order to give patients suitable treatment during the period (Rifat Atun 2015).

In the reform period (Dr.Recep,2009), the tasks about policymaking, regulatory, financing and supervision are separated to different departments. For instance, the main tasks of The Ministry of Health should make the policies and supervision the conduct of the program. In addition, the Ministry of Health needs to emphasise the importance of effective and qualified healthcare service.

Insurance organizations try to provide health insurance for different classes people, in order to help every citizen have the insurance to get health treatment. At the same time, hospitals should expand more beds and provide more facilities to accept more patients. Meanwhile, hospitals and government need to pay attention to educate people who work regarding health care, in order to make patients get better health treatment.

Achievement of HTP

The reform of HTP from 2003 to 2016 can be defined as significant success in some ways. The following statistics can explain the outcome. First of all, the proportion of Total Health Expenditure (THE) to Gross Domestic Product was keep growing from 5.3% to 6.5% (TULK 2009).

The level of health care system in Turkey is now above average the world average level since 2011, both in the government health expenditure as% of THE, and government health expenditure as % of total government expenditure.


According to Progress Report of HTP in Turkey, they said “Health Transformation Program has been prepared as an improbable and sustainable program which confronts the socio-economic realities of our country and follows global improvements. ” (Dr.Recep,2009) The Program is built upon ethical concept aiming equal access to health services for the citizens as individuals with equal rights.

Accordingly, first the problems are identified and the conditions leading to these are analyzed. Then policies are developed in order to solve the problems, political decisions are taken with the aim of implementing this policy and these decisions are implemented. Finally, the outcomes of this policy executed within the established ethical framework are evaluated.

The process is continued by solving the existing, looming or emerging problems through the same methodology by remaining within the framework of the program. The decisions are taken within the framework of the fundamental ethical approaches all through the process.

This means the Turkish government still have a lot of things to consider, specifically in: Basic indicators, Protecting Citizens against financial Risks, Citizen satisfaction, Policy Development, Political Decisions, Financing, Payment, Organization, Regulation, Behaviour, Evaluation. They have to organize these things together and think did we do “better than before”.


The reason of success in HTP because Turkish they didn’t use the knowledge from other countries, instead of they use their own knowledge and experience also with a lesson learned from their and others’ mistake to develop, change and transformation. They still have a long long way to go and they will be succeeded.


  • Akda?,R.(2009).Health Transformation Program in Turkey.Moh. April 6, 2018.
  • Atun,R.(2015).Transforming Turkey’s Health System — Lessons for Universal Coverage.The New England Journal Of Medicine.April 6,2018.
  • Universal health coverage in Turkey: enhancement of equity. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 360 PARK AVE SOUTH, NEW YORK, NY 10010-1710 USA.
  • Health Care Systems in Transition Turkey.(1996).World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe Copenhagen
    Reviews of Health Care Quality: Turkey. (2014).OECD Publishing
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