ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey has witnessed an above-average decrease in smoking rates in comparison to EU countries while also maintaining low levels of alcohol consumption rates, according to a recent report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
There was a 20 percent decrease in the number of smokers in the last decade, with just 25 percent of the population aged 15 years and over smoking daily. The EU average for daily smokers was around 23 percent of the population following a 16 percent decrease in member states.
Turkey was also one of the states with the highest gender gap in smoking with men smoking in much higher numbers than women. The country also remained the country with the lowest alcohol consumption in adults between 1980 and 2010, with rates falling under four liters per year. The average amount totaled 10.7 liters per adult in European countries – the highest consumers of alcohol in the world.
Fewest doctors per capita
The good numbers on smoking and alcohol consumption, however, did not extend to other healthcare categories, as the country failed to keep up with the remaining states despite improvements.
Turkey and Montenegro had the fewest doctors per capita out of 35 countries on the list, made up of 27 EU members, five candidate countries and three European Free Trade Association countries. Turkey is the country with the fewest nurses as well, with an average of 1.6 nurses per 1,000 people despite a large increase over the last decade. Denmark, the highest on the list, has an average of 15.4 practicing nurses, while the European average is just under eight nurses per 1,000.
The number of hospital beds per capita is also lowest in Turkey, despite the country being one of only two countries in which the number of beds per population has not decreased over the decade. The report states that Turkey’s beds per capita have also increased over the past decade.