Foreign doctors have to pass language test for job in Turkey

Foreign doctors have to pass language test for job in Turkey

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Foreign doctors have to pass language test for job in Turkey

Doctors will be obliged to get a minimum score of “B” from Turkish language tests. REUTERS photo

Foreign doctors will be required to pass a Turkish language test in order to gain permission to work in private health institutions in the country, according to new regulations that were published in yesterday’s Official Gazette.

The new regulations also require foreign doctors to obtain a residence and a work permit, vocational liability insurance, as well as a certificate of equivalence from relevant state offices to demonstrate that their diplomas and other documents of expertise are in line with Turkish university standards.

Foreign doctors will be obliged to receive a minimum score of “B” from Turkish language tests administered by universities’ Turkish Teaching Application and Research Centers (TÖMER) in accordance with criteria set forth by the European Language Portfolio.

The new regulations are valid for all foreign health workers except dentists, pharmacists, midwives and nurses, according to reports.

Foreign doctors and the private health institutions that will employ them will also be required to present to the relevant offices their service contracts, specifying the monthly wages to be paid to the employees.

A document indicating that there are no legal restrictions barring the doctors in question from exercising their profession and supplied either by the Health Ministry or the embassy of the country of the doctors’ origin will also be required.

A statutory decree issued Oct. 2, 2011, permitted the employment of foreign doctors and nurses in Turkey despite widespread opposition to the idea. Non-Turkish physicians were not allowed to work in Turkish hospitals and other health institutions until then.

Critics, including opposition deputies and medical associations, have expressed worry the decree would pave the way for “cheap labor” in the health sector and commercialize Turkey’s healthcare system while reducing its overall quality.

Health Minister Recep Akdağ, however, said the initiative would help alleviate the shortage of doctors and nurses in the country. Some 3,000 foreign medics who graduated from Turkish universities will have priority in gaining employment in Turkey, he said.