Serkan Alan / DUVAR

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, a number of hospitals im Turkey have been allocated for patients who have caught the virus, and a number of clinics have shut down service with the exception of emergency situations. Patients have postponed non-emergency treatments due to fear of contracting the virus while at healthcare facilities. 

Following the Ramadan holiday, it is expected that clinics will start to function as normal with certain conditions imposed based on the decline in the number of new daily cases, and medical experts believe that medical facilities will experience a busy wave of patients. 

According to Dr. Cavit Yavuz of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), precautions need to continue to be made regarding the coronavirus in Turkey despite the fact that the number of daily cases is considerably less than what it was several weeks ago. 

“The number of cases in Turkey is declining and this is a positive thing, but last week there were around 10,000 cases, and close to 300 deaths. These figures still aren’t very low. We hope that the decline will continue and during this process, societal compliance is extremely important,” Yavuz said. 

“The Ministry of Health has still not announced a schedule, but in the upcoming weeks we will see new regulations for hospitals and new organizations will be on the agenda. During this period we have focused on the pandemic, but this doesn’t mean that the need for health services has ceased. Postponed services may return with a high level of demand,” Yavuz added. 

According to Yavuz, patients shouldn’t be afraid of going to hospitals, and many treatments can be conducted outside of hospitals at family health centers. He says the fear of going to medical facilities can lead to more serious health problems. 

The TTB’s Dr. Filiz Ünal said that she is expecting a high wave of patients to head to hospitals and health centers after the Ramadan holiday.

“One patient who is diabetic has not had their blood sugar or blood pressure checked in three months. Many people came to me with chest pain that would have resulted in a heart attack. We think that these cases have built up and need to be dealt with in a systematic fashion,” Ünal said. 

According to Ünal, there is a discrepancy in the quality of healthcare facilities in Turkey and all medical facilities must be brought to the same standard: 

“There cannot be A, B, and C-class health centers. Everyone is required to receive the best service. There are health centers that look like retail shops. You can send them strategic plans, but they won’t be implemented. The building, the standards and the working hours are not suitable for this. For that reason, the healthcare system needs to take this into consideration and everything reviewed again,” Ünal said.