Doctors on strike: What are their demands? | Turkey | DW

Problems experienced by physicians in Turkey are often on the public agenda. Physicians, in particular, have complained of low wages and violence in health. Again some find solutions to go abroad. The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) made a call on 8 February entitled “G (ö) REV” to draw attention to these issues. The Federation of Family Physicians Association (AHEF) has also announced that it will stop work on February 17-18.

DW Turkey wants to know the demands of these two companies by giving them a microphone.

The “edit” response in December caused 6

December 2021 was a turning point in the strike process. On this date, a regulation promoting the rights of physicians was adopted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) in an all-party vote, but was later withdrawn. In protest of this situation, TTB stopped a work called “G (ö) REV” on 15 December. He announced to quit his job again if no action is taken.

No specific developments have been made in the meantime and TTB announced its new action plan on 20 January. Within the scope of this plan, the “White Watch” was held at the TTB headquarters in Ankara from 26 January to 4 February. The directors of the medical chambers in different cities have shared the problems of their experience in their province. Academic physicians, work physicians, and assistant physicians talk about problems in their field. In addition to the CHP and HDP deputies, representatives of many unions and associations participated in these “clocks”.

On the last day of the “White Watch”, February 4, it was announced that a press statement would be issued at the Kankaya Gate of the Turkish Grand National Assembly with the participation of deputies.

What is the demand of TTB?

So what do doctors want? TTB General Secretary Prof. Dr. Vedat Bulut answers this question to DW Turki as follows:

“Our primary demand is to strengthen primary health care services to protect public health. In addition, Covid-19 should be treated as a occupational disease, not legislated without a causal link. It is a preventive violence law. Wages need to be raised at least 150 percent, otherwise immigration abroad will not be stopped.

TTB General Secretary Prof. Dr. Bedat Bulut

Also, the TTB’s website contains demands such as “raising additional indicators, abolishing hard work, abolishing prescription fees for healthcare services, stopping ineligible recruitment, stopping indefinite work in private health institutions”.

‘198 doctors go abroad in a month’

Professor Bedat Bulut said that due to these problems, 198 doctors migrated abroad in January, which is a record. “Most deserving people who speak a foreign language are leaving. Last year the number was 1,405. If this continues for 12 months, 2,500 doctors will leave Turkey. This number is growing rapidly, led by their other friends,” Bulut said.

Doctors who want to go abroad have received certificates of good conduct from TTB, Bulut said, adding that this is how they reached the number.

Professor Bulut joined the TTB strike on February 8, including the Health and Social Workers Union, the Turkish Dentists Association, the All Radiology Technicians and Technicians Association, the Psychologists Association, the Revolutionary Medicare Union, the Revolutionary Health Workers Union, and She said about 20 organizations, including the Federation of Business, Family Health Workers, Midwives and Nurses Association, will participate.

What do family doctors want?

Another strike was called for February 17-18 by the Federation of Family Physicians. Although there are approximately 30,000 family physicians in Turkey, AHEF is a federation of 75 provincial associations. Explaining his demands to DW Turkey, AHEF board member Tanner Balbe highlighted the disadvantages of working conditions:

“We have been waiting for a regulation about us for many years. On June 30, 2021, the Family Medicine Agreement and the Payment Rules were issued. However, it has become a ‘penal’ regulation. For example, if family physicians working in an integrated hospital Do not go on duty five times during a two-year contract, even with an excuse contract. In addition, the extension of the family physician’s contract will be decided by a commission set up by the provincial health department. “

Balbe argued that the practice was “unacceptable” because it could be crowded by corrupt administrators. Balbe said the current spending by the state on family health centers has been crushed by inflation, “therefore, 15-20 thousand people in family health centers may be unemployed.”

Health violence is a common complaint

Dr. Balbe added that violence is an important health issue. They want an effective violence law in the health sector. He said that no action has been taken in this regard. The family health center and the whole of Turkey, the daily news of violence is coming. “Our only consolation is that nothing has happened to our medical friends. Under the current law, attackers can do nothing. They are either released or given very little punishment after a certain period of time,” Balbe said.

The Ministry of Health did not hear these allegations and did not take positive action. Balbe says that’s why they decided to go on strike.

He noted that HEKİMSEN, Physicians Union, Tabip-Sen, Genel Sağlık-İş, Primary Health Care Professionals Union and Solidarity Union, Family Medicine Employees Union and some other organizations have so far supported the strike on February 17-18. Dr. Balbe has announced that they will close work on February 17-18 as well as March 14-16.

Batu Bozkurk

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