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15,000 doctors left Turkey for better opportunities abroad: opposition MP

15,000 doctors left Turkey for better opportunities abroad: opposition MP
15,000 doctors left Turkey for better opportunities abroad: opposition MP


The number of doctors in Turkey who have chosen to go abroad for better job opportunities and working conditions has reached 15,000, daily Szc reported on Wednesday, citing an MP from the opposition Nationalist Party Y (Good).

Turhan Mez, who is also a doctor and a former ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoan, head of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), spoke to Szc on Wednesday about the increase in the number of doctors seeking to leave the country.

More doctors are leaving abroad due to poor working conditions and violence in Turkey, which has the fewest doctors in Europe when countries' populations are taken into account, data shows 2021 fromEurostatthe Statistical Office of the European Union.

Healthcare professionals considering their future in Europe, Canada, the United States, the United Arab Emirates or Qatar include not only doctors working for public or university hospitals, but also independent doctors.

Reasons for doctors' departure include the AKP government's failure to meet its demands for manageable workloads, increased safety and better salaries, as well as incidents of physical violence against healthcare workers that are becoming daily occurrences in all the countries.

According to Mez, at least 15,000 doctors have left Turkey so far, and this will continue until the country's medical professionals are given the respect, personal rights and value they deserve. He also said that the dream of most final year medical students in Turkey is to go abroad and practice their profession there.

I worked in the general and emergency surgery unit of a teaching hospital in the UK for 11 years. I did not witness any verbal or physical violence [toward doctors]. However, not a day goes by without a health worker being attacked in Türkiye. We have raised this issue several times, but no effective action has been taken, Mez said.

Asked about the requirements for Turkish doctors to pursue a medical career in the European Union or the United States, Mez replied that they must pass the appropriate language exam for accreditation in addition to written medical exams and oral, and fulfill the conditions for obtaining a diploma. a university recognized by the EU or the United States.

“My annual salary in the UK was 120,000 euros. After taxes, I would receive 7,000 (294,000 TL) per month. In Germany, a doctor earns at least 4,000 (140,000 TL) per month,” Mez said.

Erdo angered the medical community when he condemned in March 2022 a growing number of Turkish doctors who were choosing to join the private sector or go abroad for better job opportunities, saying they were free to leave and that Turkey would find ways to compensate for their loss. .

After facing an angry reaction from the medical community, thousands of whose members took to the streets on Medicine Day, celebrated every March 14 in Turkey, Erdoan later praised the efforts of doctors , especially during the pandemic, and said: “Turkey is still in need of and indebted to its doctors.

The departures of doctors constitute a sad indictment of Erdoan, who burnished his own reputation by expanding the universal health system during his 20 years in power. But the tensions linked to the reforms carried out by Erdoan, in addition to those caused by the pandemic and growing inflation, have weakened the very professionals on whom the health system depends.

There are numerous reports of long waiting periods for crucial surgeries due to insufficient numbers of doctors in some hospitals.

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