Health Minister Dr. Fahrettin Koca appeared as an on-air guest on TV program of Anadolu Agency and replied the questions.
Concerning the ever increasing violence against healthcare professionals, Dr. Koca stated that an action plan is being prepared to prevent violent acts in health. Dr. Koca underlined the fact that the action plan includes such topics as improvement of physical environments, reducing burden of the staff in terms of the number of patients, malpractice and compensation, etc., and regulations will not only cover the public sector but all for complete eradication of violence.
Aiming to increase satisfaction of patients, the Ministry will first strive to ensure satisfaction of the healthcare professionals, added Dr. Koca, and continued his statement as follows:
“Our staff can feel assured that I am closely following the problems that may probably arise. Shortly after I stepped in as the Minister, we completed the regulation on depreciation and retirement of healthcare professionals. Healthcare professionals can now be retired five years earlier, and get more pension. All healthcare professionals will be able to benefit from this regulation. Without satisfying the healthcare professionals, we cannot achieve patient satisfactions.”
Concerning city hospitals, Dr. Koca said that “Working with a single university may not be sustainable; therefore we will enable execution of cooperation protocol with several universities whenever required. Neither Ministry of Health nor Ministry of Finance and Treasure has signed to undertake any debt whatsoever in relation to public-private partnership projects. City hospitals do not provide any warranty for occupancy rates of outpatient clinics, operating rooms, emergency wards, intensive care services or bed occupancy rates.”
Health Minister also mentioned about their efforts to ensure more qualified and rapid delivery of healthcare services. “We are referring to complete digitalization phasing the paper use out of the system as well as prescriptions in paper form, with all reports available in digital environment.”
Regarding the medical tourism Dr. Koca stated “We have income of $1.5 billion arising from medical tourism, but this is not enough. We consider that it is possible to rise it fivefold by 2023.”
Concerning external dependency of $12 billion in the field of medicines, supplies and medical devices, Dr. Koca added that “We have to reduce it by half, at least, within 5 years. We should also increase export through domestic production. We should export what we produce.”
Dr. Koca refuted the news on non-performance of surgeries and also said that “We could buy two very important cancer drugs with a discount of 71%, enabling us to save TRY 427,6 million per year.”
Lastly, Dr. Koca touched upon the recent law and added that “We would like to continue our struggle with tobacco as strictly as ever. We have to guarantee the right of our citizens to inhale fresh air. We have started the use of monotype cigarette packages in Turkey. From now on, they will all look similar.”