While Turkey celebrates the day of medicine on March 14, Murat Emir, an MP of the main opposition party CHP, directed questions to the Centre of Enquiry of the Prime Ministry in Turkey (BİMER) regarding the condition of health practitioners in Turkey. The answers reveal devastating effects of AKP's healthcare reforms on health practitioners.
According to the data provided by BİMES, a total of 180 health practitioners, including 10 medical doctors, 71 nurses and 99 other personnel, committed suicide in 2015. For 2016, this number is 129, including 11 medical doctors, 56 nurses and 62 other personnel. On the other hand, it is 122 for 2017, which includes 3 medical doctors, 53 nurses and 66 other personnel.
The question regarding how many medical students committed suicide, in which grade and which university they had been remained unanswered.
THE RATE OF VIOLENCE AGAINST HEALTH PRACTITIONERS IS 62,3
A survey by the union of public employees in health and social services (SES) revealed the violence against health practitioners in Turkey has been increasing.
Participated by a total of 800 health practitioners, the data of the survey showed that 441 of the participants were exposed to verbal violence, and 57 of them to physical violence. In other words, 62,3 percent of health practitioners were vulnerable to violence. While 78 percent of them said the physical or verbal attacks came from patients or their attendants, 10 percent said they were exposed to the violence of the hospital administration, 4 percent to the co-workers.
While the ruling AKP government's health reform heightened privatisation policies in health and increased the workload of health practitioners, the access of the people to free health services decreased. This situation went hand in hand with the propaganda of AKP that blames health practitioners for the failures in health services, causing increases in violence against health practitioners and suicides among them.