Health workers, employees in public sector hold day strike

Health workers, employees in public sector hold day strike

Health workers, employees in public sector hold day strike

Doctors and health workers gathered in Istanbul’s Beyazıt district to protest the privatization of tne health system. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Health workers and other public employees went on strike yesterday to voice their demands and protest recent developments in the Turkish health system.

State hospital workers, except those on duty in emergency rooms, stopped working for the day around the country. Major hospitals in Istanbul, including Istanbul Medical Faculty in Çapa, Okmeydanı Hospital and Şişli Etfal Hospital were among those affected by the labor action, which was organized by the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) and the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK).

KESK issued a number of demands, including a collective agreement that provides legal assurances for the right to strike, the continuation of severance pay, a halt to the detention and arrest of union members and an end to uninsured employment.

All departments except emergency units in hospitals walked off the job yesterday due to the strike, while certain lines of work operated by KESK workers were also shut down for the day.

Health workers set up a tent at 7:30 a.m. at Istanbul’s Çapa Medical Faculty and distributed pamphlets to patients and other employees in hospital yards and polyclinics to explain the reasons for the strike.

Meanwhile, professional organizations and unions led by the TTB said they would establish their own health assemblies and vote on a recent statutory decree from the government they say would turn hospitals and health services into commercial enterprises while enslaving health workers.