North Cyprus has a completely modern healthcare system and the medical profession operates at the highest standards, which can be a pleasant relief for visitors and new expats if they find they require medical assistance when in Northern Cyprus. There are a number of private clinics and hospitals as well as state run surgeries and emergency medical facilities.
North Cyprus is also home to a wide variety of specialist areas such as eye surgery, fertility treatment and cosmetic surgery. There are also care homes and a wide choice of well-equipped dentist surgeries and opticians. Furthermore, the cost of receiving medical treatment in Northern Cyprus is far from exorbitant.
With general hospitals located in cities and major towns, and with a fleet of emergency service vehicles and the Civil Defence division at hand, North Cyprus is also set to cope with major emergency events such as earthquakes or large scale forest fires for example.
The main population centres of Gazi Magusa (Famagusta), Girne (Kyrenia), Guzelyurt (Morphou) and Lefkoşa (Nicosia) all have private and state run hospitals, and where these are located are also where you will find the majority of doctors, dentists, opticians and even alternative healthcare practitioners such as reflexologists, aromatherapists and reiki practitioners for example.
Health insurance is not compulsory in Northern Cyprus at the moment, although the government has been discussing plans to implement a compulsory scheme, the proceeds from which would go to improving the medical facilities across the island.
When visiting North Cyprus you will never be refused emergency care whether you have the financial means to pay for it or not. However, you should always make sure that any potential costs for major health and emergency needs are covered within your travel insurance policy, and what’s more, you should have repatriation cover too as you may require transportation to your home nation if North Cyprus is unable to provide necessary specialist treatment to care for you if you fall ill.
In an emergency the number to call for an ambulance in North Cyprus is 112, alternatively, make your way to the nearest hospital or health care clinic for immediate treatment. Trained staff are on hand at Accident and Emergency departments to deal with initial assessments and onward treatment, depending on the severity of a condition. Transfer to other specialist facilities may be required should they be unable to deal with any situation at the medical facility you initially attend.
Useful contact numbers are: –
Ambulance – 112
Kyrenia Hospital – +90 392 815 2266
Nicosia Hospital – +90 392 228 5441
Famagusta Hospital – +90 392 366 2876
Guzelyurt Hospital – +90 392 714 2125
Health Care Advice from 8am to 11pm – +90 815 4929 or +90 542 886 2955
There are plenty of pharmacies all over North Cyprus, and you should look out for them as they are often identified by a sign with a green cross on it – pharmacies are known as ‘Eczane’ in Turkish. They can be found in most high streets of almost every city, town and village, so you should not have to travel far in an emergency.
Pharmacies are all open during the day, but at night times only one or two will be open on a rotational basis in the cities and towns until 11pm, so it’s worth asking if you require ongoing treatment to see which ones will be open where you are staying. You can either ask at the pharmacy during daytime hours, or the English language newspaper Cyprus Today publishes the duty rota each week. Of course, if it’s an emergency you can go straight to the Accident and Emergency departments at all general hospitals.
Pharmacies in North Cyprus are well known for selling almost every single prescription drug you can think of (and then some) over the counter! Normal practice is to explain your ailment (generally all pharmacists speak good English), and they will prescribe the appropriate medicine. They really do act as doctors and it may come as a surprise to those of us who are used to having to book an appointment to see our family doctor to achieve the same end! The cost of medicine is again far cheaper than you pay in the UK or Germany for example.