Turkey may woo Greek doctors to fill vacancies
Turkey needs 20,000 doctors who are specialists and 10,000 general practitioners, according to the health minister. AA photoTurkey is considering employing foreign doctors in order to fill vacancies in public hospitals, with Greek professionals being one of their main targets, Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu has said.
“We are thinking of employing doctors from Greece and other countries, who we believe would fulfill the needs of our people and who will be accredited by YÖK [the Turkish Higher Education Board] after the related legal regulations have been made,” Müezzinoğlu told journalists during an Eid al-Fitr visit to an Istanbul hospital on July 29.
“We [Turkey] have been increasing the capacity of our medical faculties since 2007, but such efforts will only start yielding results this year,” Müezzinoğlu added.
Turkey needs 20,000 doctors who are specialists and 10,000 general practitioners, the health minister stated.
“Greece has a high surplus in the number of doctors it has… The number of doctors per 10,000 people in Greece stands at 61, while the figure for Turkey is 17,” he said, recalling that Germany signed a deal with Greece last year to hire 15,000 doctors for nine years of employment.
However, the current Turkish regulation does not allow for the employment of foreign doctors in the public sector.
The ministry is set to meet with YÖK officials to discuss the specific requirements needed in the upcoming days, Müezzinoğlu said, adding that the necessary regulations were expected to be finalized before the end of the year.
“Some 7,000 doctors in Greece are looking for jobs abroad. And we need them. [Turkey’s] doors are open to Greece’s 7,000 doctors. I invite them to serve this country and nation with their knowledge,” Müezzinoğlu said in October 2013, at a time when the number of Greek doctors working at private hospitals stood at only 24.
A statutory decree issued on Oct. 2, 2011, permitted for foreign doctors and nurses to be employed in the Turkish private sector, as new regulations on the working conditions were approved in 2012.
Foreign doctors working in Turkey will be expected to receive a minimum score of “B” on Turkish language tests, which will be monitored by the Turkish Teaching Application and Research Centers (TÖMER) in accordance with criteria set forth by the European Language Portfolio.