Doctors blame lack of security, personnel for rising attacks

Doctors blame lack of security, personnel for rising attacks

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Doctors blame lack of security, personnel for rising attacks

Doctors all around Turkey protested the murder of their colleague by a a patient’s 17-year-old relative in the southeastern province of Gaziantep last week. DAILY NEWS photos, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Health care personnel in Adana were threatened at knifepoint by a patient’s relative on April 21 as doctors working in the emergency room of an Istanbul hospital raise complaints about lack of security measures, long shifts and lack of personnel specially trained to deal with patients’ relatives.

Dr. Sezai Parlak and Nurse Fatma Sincar said a relative of a patient threatened them with a knife in the emergency department of Meydan Maternity Hospital in the southern province of Adana, adding to the growing list of violent attacks against health care workers.

A lack of security measures in hospitals result in more and more similar incidents said health workers in an Istanbul hospital.

“If relatives of patients were not let into emergency rooms we could save more people’s lives. Sometimes we spend our time arguing with the patients’ relatives instead of [providing] treatment,” Dr. Korkut Bozan, an emergency doctor from Haydarpaş Numune Hospital, said to daily Milliyet.

“The security guards in the hospital are another side of the problem. They are not educated and experienced. They have no idea about how to talk to the patients’ relatives,” said Oya Güven, another doctor from Haydarpaş Numune Hospital.

Vice president of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) Özdemir Aktan has complained about the recent “performance system” applied to doctors, saying the new system only allows five minutes to be given to each patient.

“It doesn’t matter how a doctor treats the patient anymore, the number of the patients’ matters. There are no [good] doctors in the public hospitals anymore. I, myself, took a private health insurance,” Aktan told daily Radikal.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan condemned both the mentality which led to a doctor being killed and the doctors who demonstrated against the Ministry of Health in his comments on the recent attacks to health personnel.

“Our health service is supported by 76 percent of the society. They [the doctors who marched after the murder] called on the Minister of Health to resign. They are not seeing after their loss, but calling [for] resignation, I condemn them too,” said Erdoğan during his visit to Qatar. Erdoğan also slammed Özdal Üçer, a deputy from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), yesterday during the Turkish Arab Business Summit in the northwestern province of Bursa.

“These men do not deserve their positions. The other members of this deputy’s party have attacked security forces before, now they have chosen a doctor to attack. These people do not want the problems to end,” he said.

Üçer beat up and threatened a doctor in an emergency room in the eastern province of Van on April 20 after his wife and son were taken to the hospital after being involved in a traffic accident.