Duvar English

A group of healthcare workers, including 100 doctors, on Oct. 5 held a protest in front of the office of the chief physician at Başakşehir Çam (Pine) and Sakura City Hospital, Istanbul’s largest hospital.

The healthcare staff said in a statement that they did not get their supplementary payments for the months of June and July — which were promised during the coronavirus epidemic. They said that although they received these additional coronavirus payments for the months of August, September and October, the payments stayed way below expectations.

The doctors also wanted to find about if these supplementary payments will be paid after the month of November, demanding that the hospital management acts to ensure safe conditions for them to conduct their works.

Başakşehir Çam and Sakura City Hospital was formally opened with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in May. Although the hospital is not considered a pandemic hospital, it plays a crucial role in the fight against the coronavirus.

Turkish doctors have been for weeks now saying that they are “exhausted” amid the increasing number of COVID-19 infections and the government is unable to “manage” the pandemic.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced in March that healthcare workers involved in the fight against the COVID-19 would be provided an additional payment for their works.

Several healthcare staff members however have since said that they have not benefitted from this additional payment and there are injustices with regards to this implementation.

The Health Ministry has recently raised eyebrows after increasing these supplementary payments by 100 percent for staff of the directorate of religious affairs (Diyanet) that are responsible from handling the deceased’ bodies, whereas only promised a 50 percent increase for the doctors.