A visionary health minister

A visionary health minister

The Foundation for Children with Leukemia (LÖSEV) is preparing to open Turkey’s best equipped oncology facility in May.

One could visit the website www.losev.org.tr to learn more about this impeccable facility that will be Europe’s first oncology facility.

One can also found out how to contribute to it.

In fact, this article was supposed to be about LÖSEV’s formidable facility, but we have a problem.
“What kind of a problem can you have for such an instance?” one might ask.
Let me explain...

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In order to invest in the health sector in Turkey, one first needs to receive consent from the Health Ministry. Fine, that’s all right. And in fact, this is the right thing to do. The Health Ministry needs to work in the framework of a plan and know what is happening. This is absolutely right.

This is also obviously valid for the facility constructed by LÖSEV.


LÖSEV wants to have the facility to have a 400-person capacity. The health minister says, “You will gather all the experts that work in the area in your hospital and spoil all our plans. We told you to have a 100-person capacity; yet you want to open it with a capacity of 400.”

In order to explain the situation better, let me quote Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu “No one should exploit sentiments. No one should divert Turkey’s administrative dynamics over sentimental exploitation. Everybody needs to be ethical and needs to have a stance to abide by the rules. LÖSEV had applied to build a hospital with a capacity of 100 beds and we provided them with the necessary permit. However, an attitude saying, ‘I’m strong enough to shape public opinion and I can even build a hospital with 400 beds’ is unethical. No one can confine Turkey’s governance to this unethical and unacceptable approach.”

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Mr. Minister says there can be no institution bigger than the government and the state of the Turkish Republic.

What Müezzinoğlu is saying is clear enough, requiring no interpretation.  But if one has to sum it up, he is saying, “By opening that perfect facility you cannot show the state in despair. You will get the experts and you will disturb our plans.”

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I may be a bit emotional from this part on. My apologies.

I have just lost my beloved only nephew to leukemia.

I would always defend LÖSEV.

But this is not the problem.

I think Müezzinoğlu is someone who has not comprehended the responsibility that comes with his position as minister.

Instead of supporting LÖSEV and saying “400 is not enough; form a facility for 4,000” he says “I can’t give you experts.” By doing as such he shows he lacks vision.

A health minister can’t say “don’t do it; I can’t provide you the experts.” He should say, “Do it, I’ll do what’s necessary to provide the experts.”

He should support those who take the same route as LÖSEV and clear the road for them.

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This is really shameful.