Healthcare workers of Turkey demand urgent measures amid pandemic

A group of health professionals of Turkey has issued a declaration to be signed, describing their urgent demands in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.
Thursday, 02 April 2020 21:05

Healthcare workers in Turkey have signed a declaration describing their urgent demands as the ruling AKP government's and the health ministry's measures are not sufficient to protect the health and lives of the workers. The first signers, who called on all the healthcare workers to sign, pointed out that the chaos that may occur in a situation where the coronavirus epidemic would not stop, will threaten the health and life of the healthcare workers.

The urgent demands stated in the declaration are related to what needs to be done in epidemic conditions.

The call is made to support and implement the demands of healthcare professionals. The full statement of healthcare workers is as follows:

Healthcare workers urgently demand the following for the new coronavirus outbreak. In the struggle against the epidemic, the concerns and worries of the healthcare professionals who are at the forefront of this struggle are on a very high level.  

Health professionals cannot understand the strategy of political power, who is primarily responsible for the struggle, and even unsure whether they have a strategy. The reason for this is the angle between the statements made by the ministry and the realities of the health workers working in the field increases day by day.  

Healthcare professionals cannot protect themselves and their families, cannot diagnose patients they suspect, cannot provide appropriate follow-up and isolation to their patients, and cannot find a place to treat their diagnoses.  

The opinion, which is becoming more and more dominant among healthcare professionals, is that even the assurance of life will not be possible in the chaos scenario that will arise in a situation where the epidemic cannot be stopped.

Under these conditions, the urgent demands of the healthcare workers, who have their signatures below, are as follows: 

1) Isolation conditions in which the epidemic can be brought under control should be urgently provided, and production should be stopped outside the vital sectors so that the production activity should be minimized in the whole country.  

2) The drug supply of the patients to be diagnosed and treated on an outpatient basis should be guaranteed by the state.  

3) For the inpatients, appropriate bed capacity should be increased rapidly, taking into account the speed of the epidemic, private hospitals should be expropriated immediately and field hospitals should be established for this purpose.  

4) Adequate breathing apparatus should be provided.  

5) The supply of protective equipment such as masks, goggles, and overalls to healthcare workers should be fully and urgently guaranteed at all levels.  

6) Mothers who are pregnant and breastfeeding and healthcare professionals with chronic diseases should be considered on leave. Attention should be paid to humane working hours.

7) In order to ensure the continuity of health services outside the epidemic, some of the hospitals should be separated in a way that will not accept patients with COVID-19.  

8) For the protection of the families of the health workers working in the epidemic, their accommodation needs should be met urgently, and suitable hotels should be expropriated for this purpose.  

9) All data related to the outbreak should be clearly shared with healthcare professionals.  

10) Thousands of new people to be recruited as health workers should be trained on COVID-19.