Istanbul hospitals’ emergency wards signal alarm over hygiene, capacity
Burak Coşan – ISTANBUL
The emergency wards of Istanbul hospitals signal alarm with poor hygienic conditions and capacity shortage, a night tour of various districts in the city has revealed.
Daily Hürriyet visited six different hospitals in Istanbul to examine their emergency rooms one night upon complaints about crowding and observed patients waiting over two hours to see a doctor.
In almost all of the hospitals visited, relatives of patients were seen arguing with security personnel due to long wait times.
Daily Hürriyet’s first stop was Kartal State Hospital. At around 10 p.m., about 150 people were seen waiting in line to be treated. The next stop was Fatih Sultan Mehmet Training and Research Hospital in the Bostancı neighborhood of the Kadıköy district. The waiting line in this hospital was not much different than in Kartal State Hospital, with some patients asleep in chairs in the waiting room while waiting for their turn.
The third stop was Göztepe Training and Research Hospital, with lines of people waiting stretching to the outside of the building. The emergency wards accommodated two cats, spotted wandering on patient stretchers and in front of the delivery room. One of the cats was even seen getting into an infectious waste bin and then going next to the emergency patients.
The last stop among the hospitals on the Anatolian side was Ümraniye Training and Research Hospital, in the Ümraniye district, one of the most populated districts in Istanbul. The extreme level of crowding was again an issue at this hospital, with many patients who needed to have a CT scan spotted waiting on stretchers for their turn.
The next stop was the Bağcılar Training and Research Hospital in the Bağcılar district on the European side, one of the most crowded districts in the city. Less crowded compared to the first four hospitals, the daily observed patients pushing each other to be given priority for a blood test.
Despite the security personnel constantly warning patients’ relatives not to enter the emergency rooms, they were spotted in these rooms, forming a crowd, causing an inconvenience for doctors.
Daily Hürriyet team’s last stop was Bakırköy Dr. Sadi Konuk Training and Research Hospital, also on the European side. There were not enough stretchers to meet the demand in this hospital, with some patients being given serum while in a chair or wheelchair. In some instances, four people were spotted being treated with just one IV holder.
Many hospital personnel with whom daily Hürriyet spoke to during its night tour said “hospitals had an excess in demand.”
“Even a patient who simply has the flu comes to the emergency room either because they are unable to find an appointment in the day or they are unable to take time off from work. But, during office hours, the situation is not that different. The hospitals are very crowded,” a health personnel said.
“In European countries, only patients that really require ‘emergency’ treatment can apply to emergency wards. High fees are received from patients who go to the emergency unit without having an emergency and this lowers density. However, in Turkey, there are no restrictions,” said another health personnel.