One third of physicians in Turkey ‘hopeless’ about working conditions
More than 30 percent of family physicians across Turkey say they are “hopeless” regarding their working conditions, according to a recent survey by the Federation of Family Physicians Associations (AHEF).
A total of 529 family physicians, 343 men and 186 women, participated in the survey, daily Cumhuriyet reported on March 25. According the results, 37 percent of male physicians and 34.4 percent of female physicians experience “severe hopelessness” because of their working conditions.
The main problem cited by respondents involves having to deal with administrative procedures in addition to their original duties. These procedures involve having to perform duties outside their job description such as renting the buildings of Family Health Centers, supplying various kinds of equipment, paying bills, and hiring administrative personnel.
Many physicians stated that current funds reserved for the health sector are sometimes insufficient.
As a result, the AHEF urged policymakers to come up with new policies and plans to ease the workload on physicians, while also revising current expenditures to prevent physicians from having to deal with administrative tasks. Family Health Centers are already busy with sometimes the number of patients per physician rising to 4000.
Another significant problem experienced by physicians across Turkey is the rising number of violent incidents targeting workers in the healthcare sector.
Some 10,771 incidents of violence against healthcare workers were reported in Turkey in 2016.
“A total of 6,660 physicians, 4,536 other health personnel, 736 related employees, 42 dentists, and 282 administrative personnel” in the health sector were subjected to violence last year, the Health Ministry had stated following an inquiry from an MP.
Istanbul was the province where cases of violence occurred most with 2,159 incidents, followed by the capital Ankara with 1,074 incidents, the western province of İzmir with 518 incidents, the western province of Bursa with 343 incidents, the southern province of Antalya with 298 incidents, and the western province of Kocaeli with 266 incidents.
The provinces with the lowest number of violent incidents were noted as the northeastern province of Ardahan with four, the southeastern province of Hakkari with four, the northeastern province of Kars with four, the southeastern province of Şırnak with three, the eastern province of Tunceli with three, and the southeastern province of Batman with one.