Patients to pay for doctors after working hours, says health minister
Hürriyet PhotoHealth Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu has announced that doctors with academic positions will be able to examine patients in university hospitals after working hours and patients will be charged for these treatments, according to changes in the Full-Day Law.
The details of the changes in the Full-Day Law, which has been widely criticized for preventing doctors from working at private and public hospitals at the same time, were revealed by the minister yesterday.
Müezzinoğlu said that doctors with academic positions will be able to see patients after their working hours – 4 or 5 p.m. – at public universities, but the patients will pay 55 Turkish Liras for each examination, according to Anatolia news agency. Additionally, patients who receive any surgery, operation or examination after working hours from doctors with academic positions will have to pay the same amount the state pays the university for the service, according to the changes.
“For instance, if the state is paying 500 liras to the university for an operation, the patient will pay 500 liras too. This fee will be evenly shared by the university and the doctors with academic positions,” Müezzinoğlu said yesterday. The performance payments of the doctors with academic positions will be arranged by examining their performance within and after working hours, he said, adding that they will also be able to work on the weekends if they want. Doctors with academic positions who work at public institutions will be able to work at private institutions through contracts. Universities will also be able to make contracts with doctors with academic positions who work at other state or private institutions, said Müezzinoğlu.
However, Bayazıt İlhan, Secretary General of the Turkish Doctors’ Union, said the changes do not satisfy doctors or patients and that the new law “suggests doctors with academic positions work more and patients pay more for treatment.”
İlhan told Hürriyet Daily News yesterday that doctors with academic positions will have to work after working hours in order to receive a fair payment. If the fees paid by the patients will be shared by the university and doctors, then the state will make use of the doctors to earn money, İlhan said, accusing the changes of ignoring doctors who are not academics and other health workers.