Doctors, engineers call on Turkish president to veto omnibus bill

Doctors, engineers call on Turkish president to veto omnibus bill

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Doctors, engineers call on Turkish president to veto omnibus bill

A group protests the omnibus bill that takes away power from chambers. DAILY NEWS photo

Turkish chambers of doctors, engineers and architects have called on President Abdullah Gül to veto an omnibus bill, which was passed by the ruling Justice and Development Party votes in Parliament on July 9, restricting the authority of professional chambers and transferring it to ministries or boards.

Turkish Medical Association (TTB) President Özdemir Aktan and Istanbul Chamber of Doctors General Secretary Ali Çerkezoğlu slammed the omnibus bill at a press conference held July 18 in Istanbul.

Çerkezoğlu asserted the omnibus bill included two articles that had previously been ruled as unlawful by the Constitutional Court, criticizing the omnibus bills that were put before the parliament late at night.

One of the articles gives the medical board the authority to collect, to analyze and to share patients’ private data without requiring their permission while another one transfers the authority to ban doctors and dentists from the profession, both temporarily and permanently, to the medical board, according to Çerkezoğlu.

“You can’t govern a country or manage a healthcare system by putting different laws in the same bag,” Çerkezoğlu said.

He also said the TTB would seek to find a way to bring the bill before the Constitutional Court by asking the opposition parties.

In a separate call, the President of the Union of Chambers of Architects and Engineers’ (TMMOB) Zonguldak branch Erdoğan Kaymakçı also asked the President to send back the bill to the parliament for renegotiation, considering it as a move to disable the TMMOB and related chambers.

The proposal eliminates occupational chambers from any future city-planning procedures, removing the obligation of the chambers’ approval of projects.

The regulations transfer complete control to related institutions, leaving all decisions to the Environment and Urban Planning Ministry and removing the need for any supervision or involvement from TMMOB.