Objectives: The healthcare transformation program in Turkey has shown its success with improvements in important health indicators, increased access to healthcare services and expansion of coverage to all citizens. Turkey has been relatively able to bear the burdens associated with this due to rapid economic growth. The need for health technology assessment (HTA) was believed as a result of the expansion of coverage, pressure of new technologies, and increased expenditures. This study outlines the background and current formalization of HTA and shares the current use of HTA in decision making, while summarizing the transformation of the Turkish healthcare system for developing a high-quality, equal, and accessible care system.
Methods: We reviewed and analyzed policy changes in the Turkish healthcare system, universal health coverage, healthcare expenditures, and pricing and reimbursement policies to identify the changes leading to HTA. We reviewed existing HTA functions in Turkey and outlined their activities. Finally, we outlined a set of major challenges for HTA in Turkey over the next decade.
Results: HTA was formalized in Turkey in 2012–2013 with three national HTA structures and one hospital-based HTA unit. These functions currently run independent from each other. There are three major challenges in this country for HTA in the next decade: clarification of the assessment scope and methods, building a strong supporting system for HTA, and defining the role of HTA in the future vision of Turkish healthcare policy.
Conclusion: HTA, despite challenges, has a good opportunity to develop further with clear action plans and strong political will.