The recent knife attack on a healthcare worker at Gaziantep University Medical Faculty Hospital has once again thrust the issue of “violence in healthcare” into the spotlight.
“UNHEARD APPEALS TO THE GOVERNMENT”
A collective statement titled “Ending Violence in Healthcare” was issued by 19 CHP MPs. The statement underscored the government’s inadequate policies in addressing and preventing violence, stating:
“Violence in healthcare, one of the most pressing issues in a healthcare system that has progressively deteriorated under the rule of the Justice and Development Party, continues to worsen. Today, a healthcare worker in Gaziantep fell victim to a knife attack. Prior to this, Dr. Avni Çelik, the Chief Physician of Zonguldak Devrek State Hospital, was attacked by a relative and faced death threats. In recent months alone, healthcare professionals including physicians, dentists, nurses, veterinarians, and support staff in Şanlıurfa, Nevşehir, Samsun, and Ankara have endured acts of violence at the hands of their own relatives. Despite their relentless efforts, their pleas have fallen on deaf ears when it comes to the government.
“IMMEDIATE LEGAL AND POLITICAL MEASURES ARE ESSENTIAL”
Today, our physicians and all healthcare workers find themselves systematically exposed to violence due to the deterioration of the healthcare system, a decline that began with the Health Transformation Program. Regrettably, violence against our healthcare professionals, whose labor is undervalued, whose economic, social, and personal rights are eroded, and whose profession is unfairly discredited, has become disturbingly commonplace.
The malfunctioning system has pitted healthcare workers against patients, citizens against physicians and healthcare staff, and has allowed violence to go unpunished. Misguided healthcare policies and a mindset that primarily focuses on facility security have contributed to the escalation of violence and have created an unsustainable environment.”
According to data from the Turkish Medical Association, a striking 84% of physicians have reported experiencing physical or verbal violence at least once during their professional careers. Notably, only half of these incidents were formally reported to the relevant authorities. Furthermore, when examining White Code data, a key indicator of healthcare-related violence, it becomes apparent that Turkey witnesses over 80 cases of such violence daily.
It’s imperative to recognize that violence is a foreseeable and preventable issue. The appeal from physicians and healthcare professionals is unambiguous: “violence in healthcare” must be immediately and resolutely eradicated, with the requisite legal and political measures promptly implemented.
“DISCOURSES THAT PIT DOCTORS AGAINST PATIENTS MUST CEASE…”
Simultaneously, the disparaging and discrediting rhetoric directed at healthcare professionals, as well as the adversarial dynamics between doctors and patients, must cease.
As the Parliamentary Health Group of the Republican People’s Party, we hereby reiterate our commitment to stand alongside healthcare workers against violence, just as we have in the past. We call upon the authorities to swiftly devise legal and systemic solutions and declare our dedication to monitoring this process closely.
The MPs endorsing this statement are as follows:
– Mustafa Adıgüzel, Member of Parliament for Ordu
– Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi, Member of Parliament for Istanbul
– Tekin Bingol, Member of Parliament for Ankara
– Burhanettin Bulut, Member of Parliament for Adana
– Murat Çan, Member of Parliament for Samsun
– Murat Emir, Member of Parliament for Ankara
– Ertuğ Ertuğrul, Member of Parliament for Zonguldak
– Elvan Işık Gezmiş, Member of Parliament for Giresun
– Metin İlhan, Member of Parliament for Kırşehir
– Muhip Kanko, Member of Parliament for Kocaeli
– Ali Karaoba, Member of Parliament for Uşak
– Ali Fazıl Kasap, Member of Parliament for Kütahya
– Asu Kaya, Member of Parliament for Osmaniye
– Suat Özçağdaş, Member of Parliament for Istanbul
– Özgür Özel, Member of Parliament for Manisa
– Kayıhan Pala, Member of Parliament for Bursa
– Serkan Sarı, Member of Parliament for Balıkesir
– Gamze Taşçıer, Member of Parliament for Ankara
– Aylin Yaman, Member of Parliament for Ankara