Turkish health care staff fined some $12 mln in lawsuits

Turkish health care staff fined some $12 mln in lawsuits

Turkish health care staff fined some $12 mln in lawsuits

Nearly 6,000 lawsuits have been filed against health care workers between 2012 and 2022, resulting in fines to the tune of a whopping 172 million Turkish Liras (around $11.6 million), according to a senior official.

“Those cases included claims for pecuniary damages, amounting to 94 million liras, and non-pecuniary damages. Some 147 million liras of the fines have been collected from the sued health care workers, while procedures are ongoing for the remaining part,” Deputy Health Minister Halil Eldemir told members of the parliament’s health commission during a discussion over a draft bill that seeks harsher punishments for perpetrators of violence against health care staff.

The lawsuits were filed against 4,100 doctors, 517 nurses, 147 midwives and 391 other health care staff, Eldemir detailed.

Most of the claims for compensation involved the cases in ER departments at 1,600, followed by gynecology and obstetrics clinic at 1,100 and general surgery clinics at 638, according to the official.

“Prospective doctors, who fear that they would face such charges, avoid the surgery clinics. Because of the malpractice suits, there is a lack of experienced staff in vital branches, such as brain and cardiovascular surgery or pediatrics,” he added.

Recently, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that violence and abuse of malpractice suits were the most important problems health professionals face.

This week he pledged that a special committee would be set up under the roof of his ministry to look into the malpractice claims. The committee will be authorized to give approval whether or not an investigation should be launched into the accused health care staff.