Long-Awaited “Telemedicine Regulation” Entered into Force

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Regulation on Delivery of Remote Healthcare Services (Regulation) was published in the Official Gazette on 10 February 2022 by Ministry of Health (Ministry). Regulation regulates the procedures and principles regarding the scope of remote health service, providing permits to facilities to provide this service, development of remote health information system and audits. Regulation has been expected for a long time by the health sector and technology subjects who desire to serve to this sector.

The definitions of “remote healthcare service”, “healthcare facility” and “remote healthcare information system” were entered into the legislation with the Regulation. The general approach of the Regulation is to regulate the ability of healthcare facilities to provide remote healthcare services. On the other hand, the remote information systems are information systems that are available for audio-visual communication in order to provide these remote healthcare services.

The main regulations introduced by Regulation are as the follows:

  • The healthcare services were set forth as numerus clausus in the Regulation as medical examination, observation and consultation, services for the provision of psychosocial support services, evaluation of clinical parameters related to remote monitoring of diseases, necessary medical procedures to protect the health of individuals in endemic or epidemic outbreaks, and e-prescription and e-report issuance procedures can be provided remotely by healthcare facilities provided that their qualifications are suitable for remote healthcare service delivery.
  • Health institutions and organizations that seek to provide remote healthcare services are required to obtain a permit from the Ministry. Health institutions that obtained the permit from the Ministry will be able to provide remote healthcare services as a “permitted healthcare facility” in accordance with Regulation.
  • Remote healthcare service can only be provided through a remote health information system which is provided by Ministry or in case it is provided by third parties, such system should be approved and registered by the Ministry.
  • Before providing the remote health service; it is obligatory to provide various information to the recipient; such as the identity and expertise of the healthcare professional who will provide the healthcare service, that the remote healthcare service cannot be the equivalent of in-person healthcare service, that the nearest emergency service should be consulted in an emergency, the fee and scope of the service and that the recorded personal data will be transferred to Ministry’s system.
  • The video or audio recording of the remote health service can only be taken with the explicit consent of the parties.  Relevant records can be kept for a maximum of twelve months at the remote healthcare facility or in secure data centers permitted by the Ministry.

Nevertheless, there are no detailed provisions in the Regulation on remote health service information systems and the permit to be obtained from the Ministry for such.

Although the Regulation entered into force on the date of its publication in the Official Gazette, a 6-month transition period was envisioned for the health institutions that currently provide remote healthcare services to obtain a permit from the Ministry within the scope of the Regulation. You can find the full text of the Regulation here (only available in Turkish).


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