Law on violence against health workers adopted with support of five parties

Law on violence against health workers adopted with support of five parties

Law on violence against health workers adopted with support of five parties

A law on measures to be taken in higher education for the coronavirus pandemic, along with a regulation envisaging heavy sanctions on the violence against health workers, was adopted at the parliament on early April 15.

With the joint proposal of the five political parties that have a group in the parliament, a regulation envisaging heavy sanctions on the violence in health employees was added in the law.

Accordingly, the sentences in the acts of violence against health employees are increased and the imprisonment sentences will not be postponed.

Under the law, penalties for threatening, insulting, injuring, or hindering healthcare workers from doing their duties would be increased by 50 percent

The sentence for an injured attack on healthcare workers will be between 1.5 years and 4.5 years in the absence of other aggravating reasons, between 9 months and 3 years in threats, between 4.5 months and 3 years in insults.

According to the law, which includes comprehensive crisis-oriented measures to combat COVID-19, as well as crisis periods, compensation education will be made in cases where unusual situations such as earthquakes, epidemics and unfavorable weather conditions require a long term break. Under these conditions, universities will be able to continue their education during the summer holidays.

With the law, which also enables summer education and compensation programs at universities that interrupt education activities due to the pandemic, the conditions of expulsions and seizing foundation universities that have financial difficulties are also reorganized.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on April 8 submitted the bill about violence cases on health workers, which has long been on Turkey’s agenda but could be realized when the country faced the novel coronavirus outbreak.

An earlier proposal submitted by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) to parliament for the prevention of violence against healthcare workers was rejected by the AKP and MHP lawmakers on April 7. On April 7, AKP group deputy chair Bülent Turan said that the CHP’s proposal did not comply with the criminal system and that they prepared their own proposals in order not to extend the technical work.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca last week made a call to the lawmakers for introducing the law in order to protect the working conditions of more than one million.

Some 60,000 Turkish medical personnel have been subjected to violence in the last five years, according to a report based on complaints medics made on an emergency hotline.

“According to data provided by the Health Ministry, on average 33 violence cases against medical personnel happen in one day. Those working in healthcare fields are being subjected to violence 16 times more than those working in other fields,” the report, prepared by CHP deputy Tekin Bingöl last year for March 14 Doctor’s Day, said.

While some 18,000 doctors were subjected to “physical violence” in the last five years, the remaining 42,000 encountered “verbal abuse,” according to the report.