A total of 197 Turkish doctors in January requested official certificates of their criminal records to facilitate immigration procedures in other countries, said Turkish Medical Association (TTB) Chairperson Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı in a tweet on Tuesday, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported.
“Doctors are fed up with being confronted with violence on a daily basis,” said Fincancı. “Government policies are also making it nearly impossible for doctors to effectively take care of their patients.”
According to Fincancı the number of doctors applying for the certificates could reach more than 2,000 by the end of the year. She added that the situation was very concerning and indicated that doctors felt unhappy and without hope in Turkey.
Speaking to Middle East Monitor, Gülseren Yenice, an intern in Istanbul, said increasing violence by both patients and employers, worsening economic conditions and the fact that unqualified people gain top positions in hospitals due to their political ties to the government were key reasons for doctors wanting to leave.
Yenice added that even senior doctors were looking for ways to go to Europe because they were fed up with constant threats by hospital administrators who are close to the government.
The TTB revealed that in the first 11 months of 2021 more than 1,200 doctors left the country. This was in stark contrast to 10 years ago, when only 59 left.
The TTB said the increase in doctors leaving was due to a variety of factors including 36-hour shifts at least eight times a month, low pay, physical and psychological abuse, mandatory service in remote areas and nepotism in hospital management.
Due to the government’s “performance system,” doctors are being made to examine an unreasonable number of patients each day. Many doctors can only spare an average of five minutes for each patient, resulting in angry patients and families.
The performance system stipulates that doctors will be paid in accordance with the number of patients they examine.