Click to read the article in Turkish
We have made an interview with the Turkish Medical Association Honorary Board member Dr. Ali Özyurt regarding the working conditions of healthcare workers which became a topic of discussion following the suicides of three physicians recently.
On October 30 and 31, Yağmur Çavuşoğlu, a medical student from İstanbul, Ece Ceyda, an assistant doctor from Adana and Engin Karakuş, a cardiovascular surgeon from Batman took their own lives.
Underlining that besides suicide tendencies, stress-related illnesses are also very common among doctors, Özyurt points to marketization of healthcare, working conditions and mobbing as the cause.
"Less people get more service"
"Working conditions, the working environment, the high amount of working hours and job dissatisfaction can be the possible causes of burnout. The marketization of healthcare is another reason", Özyurt says and adds:
"In line with the crisis of capitalism, the dominant situation is to make profits by making services available by engaging people. This overburdens people.
"The weekly working hours in Turkey is 40 hours, for healthcare workers, it is 45 hours. But in practice, this reaches 90 hours in a week".
"Patient examinations last seven instead of 20 minutes"
Reminding that, according to the law, a physician should examine 20 patients on one day, which means that each medical examination would last 20 minutes, Özyurt says:
"But in Turkey, the central appointment system gives an appointment every 10 minutes. With medical examinations which last five to seven minutes in average, over a million patients are being treated on daily basis.
"Pressures by administrators"
Shield reads: "We don't want to work ourselves to death"
"Mobbing and intimidation are other reasons. The administrators in a hospital act like the commissaire of the government or the employers.
"Since they know that they would be discharged from their positions if they do not fulfill their tasks, they constantly oppress the employees".
"National healthcare authority decides on our behalf"
Pointing to the idealist personality of healthcare workers, Özyurt says:
"When people are confronted with the real life, cases of suicides and depression occur. Not me or people like me have an influence on the system, but the national healthcare authority does.
"The system works just like a factory and we, healthcare workers workers are being instrumentalized".
"They suffer burnouts in this vicious circle"
"Because of all these reasons, suicide attempts and suicide rates are much higher among healthcare workers compared to the general population. They suffer from burnouts, dissatisfaction, drug and substance addiction, depression and various illnesses", Özyurt points out and says:
"The studies show that doctors do not have psychological issues when they are on vacation or are not working, and suffer completely work-related depressions". (TP/EKN/DG)
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