100,000 Turkish doctors strike amid global health movement
Eleven organisations representing most physicians and health care workers in Turkey are striking since Wednesday as their demands for improved salary and benefits were turned down.
Nurses and other health workers are striking along with the 110,000-member Turkish Medical Association(TTB).
Since December 2017, Turkish health care workers have staged the most strikes and protests. After January, February, and March, Hekimsen struck down for six days.
After the Erdoğan government rejected doctors’ demands, they went on strike. Saturday’s “Great Physician Workshop” sparked today’s strike. In a joint statement yesterday, they said, “We do not accept this proposed law, which will be brought to Parliament today.”
“Abolishing this law” “Tomorrow we’ll strike for our social rights and only provide emergency, intensive, and oncology care,” they said.
“Turkey’s privatized health system sees patients as customers, hospitals as businesses, and us as slaves,” the statement said.
Doctors die four times more often than the general population from COVID-19. Over 500 Turkish healthcare workers died from COVID-19.
Instead of reviewing and changing the health system, they faced violence, poverty, migration, mobbing, resignations, unqualified education, and lack of merit, performance-based work, and pressure. Virtual queues at home, months-out appointments, rising out-of-pocket costs, incentives for private hospitals with regulations that devastate public health services, and health inequality, they said.
938 Turkish doctors have left the country this year, and health worker suicides have risen. On March 8, Erdoan said, “Let them go.” We’ll hire physicians.” “Nearly 2,000 doctors have left or are leaving,” says Hekimsen.
On March 14-15, Erdoan said, “This country needs its doctors” He said his government would meet workers’ demands legally. Health workers’ requests were ignored.
Doctors and nurses have threatened wider and longer strikes if their demands aren’t met. Our crisis will cause longer work stoppages. The statement urged strike support.
Due to central banks printing money for the super-rich during the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation has risen during the Ukraine war. May inflation in Turkey was 73.5 percent and food inflation was 91.6 percent. Real annual inflation exceeds 160%, according to ENAG.
The poverty line for a family of four in Turkey reached $1,135 in May, according to the pro-government Türk-ş union confederation. “Hunger limit” rose to 6,017 Turkish lira ($350), 1,750 lira more than minimum wage (4,250 TL, $245).
Erdoğan’s government is socially explosive. A March survey found that 76.5 million of Turkey’s 85 million people are poor. 25.5% of the 76.5 million surveyed have low income.
In two years of pandemic profiteering, corporations’ share of national income rose from 42.9 to 47% and millionaires’ wealth reached 3.9 trillion Turkish lira.
Hekimsen reports that specialists earn 12,000-13,000 TL and other physicians 9,500-10,000 TL. Doctors want higher pay, pensions, and benefits.
Doctors oppose 36-hour nonstop work and “malpractice” decisions against them. Turkey has one-third of the OECD’s doctors. Doctors oppose 5-minute exams.
They want hospital assault laws. Turkey attacks 40 health care workers daily.
Turkish health care workers are striking over rising costs and inequality. Turkey saw 106 wildcat strikes in January and February.
From Germany, the UK, and France to India, New Zealand, the US, and beyond, health care workers are striking and protesting understaffing, exhausting workloads, and eroding living standards.
The policy relies on science and health treatment against the COVID-19 epidemic, fair wages, and living conditions favor It enriches itself at the world’s expense.
This global war requires rank-and-file committees. IWA-RFC unites healthcare workers and other workers.