Doctors warn public on incarcerated sick

Doctors warn public on incarcerated sick

Sera De Vor ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Doctors warn public on incarcerated sick

CHP lawmaker Mehmet Haberal is among the inmates with health problems. Hürriyet photo

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) has raised the alarm about at least 133 inmates who remain in prison despite being terminally sick, accusing the authorities of indifference to their plight.

“The number of inmates is rising at exceptional rates, and the complaints made to us are rising accordingly,” the TTB’s Eriş Bilaloğlu told a group of reporters. He said complaints on health care had doubled in the past two years.

The association met with Justice Ministry officials last October and gave them a list of 135 inmates who needed urgent treatment. “Two of the prisoners on the list have died from cancer since then,” said Bilaloğlu, adding that six others had died before the list was compiled. “And these are only the cases that we are aware of,” he said.

“Even though the ruling party persists on not solving this problem, we see it as our duty to demand a solution. The issue must be taken care of today,” he added.

Denying treatment to sick prisoners should not be used as a method of punishment, the TTB said in a press release, while highlighting serious shortcomings in basic health care in prisons.

The issue was brought to Parliament’s attention last week by the Republican People’s Party (CHP), which submitted an application to demand urgent action to ensure that jailed CHP lawmaker Mehmet Haberal would receive proper medical treatment for serious health problems.

Bilaloğlu refused to comment on specific cases, explaining that poor prison conditions were a widespread problem that must be resolved to benefit all inmates.