Over 10,000 incidents of violence against health care workers reported last year in Turkey
ANKARASome 10,771 incidents of violence against healthcare workers were reported in Turkey in 2016, the Health Ministry has announced following an MP’s inquiry, daily Birgün reported on June 19.
“A total of 6,660 doctors, 4,536 other health personnel, 736 related employees, 42 dentists, and 282 administrative personnel” in the health sector were subjected to violence last year, the Health Ministry told independent Ankara deputy Aylin Nazlıaka.
Istanbul was the province where cases of violence occurred most with 2,159 incidents, followed by the capital Ankara with 1,074 incidents, the western province of İzmir with 518 incidents, the western province of Bursa with 343 incidents, the southern province of Antalya with 298 incidents, and the western province of Kocaeli with 266 incidents.
The provinces with the lowest number of violent incidents were noted as the northeastern province of Ardahan with four, the southeastern province of Hakkari with four, the northeastern province of Kars with four, the southeastern province of Şırnak with three, the eastern province of Tunceli with three, and the southeastern province of Batman with one.
“In 2016, health personnel at hospitals and healthcare institutions were subjected to 30 incidents of violence on average per day. Eighteen doctors every day are exposed to violence by patients’ relatives,” Nazlıaka told Birgün.
She also noted that a law proposal to tackle the issue was “being kept waiting in parliament.”
“Punishments should increase, the authorities should immediately revise health policies. What’s more, the Health Ministry should avoid making statements that disgrace doctors and health personnel,” Nazlıaka said.
“The transformation of the health sector has pitted doctors and health personnel against patients and their relatives. There is less respect for doctors and health personnel, while violence in the health [sector] has been legitimized,” she added.
In 2015, the number of recorded violent incidents against health personnel amounted to 11,919.