Turkey’s Ministry of Health has introduced exemptions from certain pre-application criteria for employing foreign health workers in private health institutions. In certain conditions, individuals who are temporarily under Turkey’s protection are no longer required to meet criteria related to approval and registration of qualification documents, or legal practicing restrictions. The regulatory regime has been extended to now also apply to midwives, who were previously exempt.

In principle, foreign health workers who under Turkey’s temporary protection must meet the following criteria before applying for employment in private Turkish health institutions:

  • Have their diploma or certificate of expertise approved for equivalency, and registered with the Ministry of Health.
  • Be free of any legal restrictions on practicing their profession.
  • Be competent in the Turkish language.
  • Hold a Turkish work and residence permit, as per applicable laws.
  • For physicians, hold professional liability insurance.

The Regulation on Temporary Protection (published in Official Gazette number 29153 on 22 October 2014) defines “temporary protection” as applying to foreigners who are forced to leave (and cannot return to) their country, coming into Turkey’s borders en mass (or in person during large movements) and whose international protection requests cannot be taken into consideration personally.

The amendments mean that the first two criteria no longer apply to individuals who are under temporary protection in Turkey, provided the Ministry of Health authorizes them to practice their profession and they are employed by certain specified healthcare institutions.

Dentists, pharmacists and caretakers are excluded from the pre-application criteria noted above. Midwives were previously also excluded. However, the pre-application criteria above will now also apply to midwives.

The Amendment Regulation on the Regulation of Working Procedures and Principles of Foreign Health Workers in Private Healthcare Institutions in Turkey was published in Official Gazette number 29744 on 16 June 2016, entering into effect on the same date. Please see this link for the full text of the Amendment Regulation (only available in Turkish).