Foreign medics granted Turkish work permit

Foreign medics granted Turkish work permit

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News

The Turkish government opened the door to the much-opposed employment of foreign medics in Turkey as part of a fresh batch of statutory decrees issued shortly before its six-month legislative mandate was to expire yesterday.

The decree amended laws dating back to 1928 and 1954 that had barred foreign nationals from working as physicians and nurses in Turkey by introducing structural changes in the Health Ministry’s organization. The decree will permit the employment of foreigners and Turks under temporary contracts of up to three years in positions that “require special know-how and expertise.”

Health Minister Recep Akdağ has said Turkey faces a shortage of doctors and nurses, with the number of patients for both categories well above European standards. Medical associations have criticized the idea, arguing that the employment of foreigners will damage the quality of service and pose problems in communication with patients.

The government issued five other statutory decrees that introduced amendments concerning a wide range of institutions, including the European Union Ministry, the Family and Social Policies Ministry, the Education Ministry, the Atatürk Culture, Language and History Institution, the Labor and Social Security Ministry and the State Personnel Directorate.

The government has issued a total of 35 statutory decrees since May when Parliament gave it a six-month legislative mandate.