Patient attempts suicide because unable to afford medicine

Turkey’s AKP government’s policy to privatise healthcare has had a devastating effect on patients and practitioners, dragging both parties to suicide
Sunday, 18 March 2018 20:08

A 26-year-old patient in Turkey’s western coastal city of İzmir attempted suicide on Saturday because of being unable to afford medical prescriptions.

The young patient, identified by the initials İ.A., went up to the roof of a 4-storey building belonging to the local administration in the metropolitan district of Bornova. İ.A. stated that they were suffering from diabetes and couldn’t afford the required medication for their treatment.

After witnesses had contacted the security authorities, the police and fire crews burst onto the scene. As the police attempted to persuade İ.A not to commit suicide, the fire crew took precaution for a possible suicide attempt.

Successfully convinced by the police efforts, İ.A. was taken down from the roof without any physical damage.

PRIVATISATION OF HEALTHCARE BOOSTS SUICIDES

Turkey’s AKP government’s policy to privatise healthcare has had a devastating effect on patients and practitioners, dragging both parties to suicide.

Successive suicides of three young medical staff last November have prompted public discussion over the working conditions of doctors, whose annual average number of examined patients rose nearly five-fold during the AKP rule, from 1,200 before 2002 to over 5,700 in 2015.

According to a new regulation introduced in January 2017, the Social Security Institution will plan the payment for treatments of chronic diseases considering “quality and results”. In other words, the state will have right to reject the payment if, for example, a diabetic patient who has been receiving treatment for 20 years didn’t show enough improvement.

Recently, a cancer patient in the northern province of Bartın has reportedly committed suicide jumping out of a window in the hospital where he received treatment. Local authorities have launched an investigation over the suicide.