Turkish Health Ministry opens probe into voluntary health center in Gezi Park
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
The Health Ministry has opened an investigation into the Istanbul Chambers of Medicine for organizing a temporary health center at Taksim Gezi Park. DHA photo
The Health Ministry has opened an investigation into the Istanbul Chambers of Medicine for organizing a temporary health center at Gezi Park, but the Turkish Doctors’ Union (TTB) has said that helping wounded people is a humanitarian duty.
The Health Ministry’s Inspection Services Department’s chief inspector İzzet Taşçı had sent a notice to the Istanbul Chambers of Medicine asking six main questions.
The ministry asked the Istanbul Chambers of Medicine why they did not ask for permission from the ministry before organizing a temporary health care center at Gezi Park.
“What were your reasons for organizing additional health teams when the ministry’s ambulances and medical teams were already at Taksim Square as part of the ongoing incidents there?” the ministry asked the Istanbul Chambers of Medicine.
The ministry also demanded the names, duties, titles and responsibilities of the personnel who worked at the Istanbul Chambers of Medicine’s health center in Taksim Gezi Park. It also asked about the kind of medical records that the voluntary health teams had and what their legal grounds for this was. The ministry asked whether any surgery operations were carried out by these voluntary health teams and whether they had any records of these.
The ministry also asked how many patients were treated at these voluntary health centers and if any records were taken; if so, it requested the names of the patients treated there and whether these records had been shared with the ministry.
Meanwhile, the TTB and Istanbul Chambers of Medicine protested the investigation in a statement read at Gezi Park on June 14, Doğan News Agency reported.
TTB head Prof. Özdemir Aktan said the ministry was trying to accuse the health workers of performing their duty. “The ministry is trying to accuse us by asking why we didn’t take permission. However, we have sworn to commit this illegal act,” said Aktan, referring to the Hippocratic Oath.
Istanbul Chambers of Medicine head Prof. Taner Gören rhetorically asked whether permission should be sought from the ministry before treating someone who was having a heart attack right there.
“We doctors do not ask permission from anyone. We have to respond to any health problem immediately,” he said.
On June 13, TTB had also said in a statement that helping wounded people was a "humanitarian responsibility."