4,000 police officers to be deployed at hospitals for security

4,000 police officers to be deployed at hospitals for security

ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
4,000 police officers to be deployed at hospitals for security

DHA photo

A Turkish Health Ministry official said 4,000 police officers would be deployed at major hospitals for the security of doctors and medical staff after the recent murder in a hospital of a doctor in the Black Sea province of Samsun fueled debates about violence against health officials in Turkey.

Eyüp Gümüş, the Health Ministry undersecretary, said police officers would directly take action against those who commit violent acts to keep hospitals running with no operational halt. The presence of police officers at hospitals would also discourage people with violent intentions to act on their impulses and boost health officials’ morale, he said. 

Gümüş elaborated on how police officers will be deployed at hospitals, saying their deployment would be done jointly by the Health Ministry and the Turkish National Police (EGM).

“As a first step, we will make an amendment in order to recruit contractual security personnel in hospitals through the EGM and put private security companies in contact with the EGM. What we want to achieve in the second step is the presence of a total of 4,000 armed police officers in the emergency departments of as many as 300 major hospitals. The contractual security personnel who are currently working at hospitals try to ensure hospital security by calling the police department. They sometimes fall short of capturing a suspect in a violent act because they are not trained enough. These police officers will quickly capture any violent suspect,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of the Health Ministry, Gümüş said they have to ensure not only the security of health officials, but also that of patients.

The move came about a month after Kamil Furtun, a thoracic surgeon, was shot dead while on duty at the Samsun Thoracic Diseases and Surgery Hospital May 29 in Samsun. 

The killing of Furtun exacerbated the debate on violence against health officials, leading to nationwide strikes by doctors and medical staff for a day, in protest.