Nur Kaplan / Gazete Duvar
Physicians working at family health centers in the earthquake zone have received their February salaries with deductions due to the decrease in the official number of patients they see after the quakes.
Over 1,000 family physicians working in the region have experienced a 15 percent salary loss, corresponding to 7,000-10,000 Turkish liras per doctor.
According to the regulation of the Health Ministry, physicians working in family health centers earn a minimum specific income plus incentives such as those based on the number of patients they see.
While the earthquake destroyed many health centers, physicians in the earthquake zone could not meet the conditions of the Ministry's regulations.
The region lost an enormous amount of its population, hence the number of registered patients, due to the deaths in the earthquake and the massive migration afterward.
A family physician working in quake-torn Hatay province has said that doctors in the region have lost nearly 10,000 liras in their monthly income due to the loss of the incentive payment. He said even though they worked in very harsh conditions during the post-earthquake conditions, their salaries were cut because the number of patients they saw was not officially registered.
Emrah Kırımlı from the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) said that the salaries of family physicians should be as they were paid in January and that the "performance-based" system is not possible under post-earthquake conditions.
The Federation of Family Physicians Associations also stated that Health Ministry deducted the salaries of the volunteer family physicians who traveled to the earthquake zone on the grounds that they did not see patients at their place of work.