Medical chamber warns against appointment overload at Turkey's public hospitals

The Istanbul Medical Chamber has shared images of a public hospital doctor’s appointment schedule. showing 2.5-minute examination windows. The overload of the public health sector would have detrimental effects on patients and physicians alike, warned the chamber.  

Duvar English

The Istanbul Medical Chamber (ITO) on May 7 drew attention to the congestion in Turkey’s public health system. 

The chamber shared a section of a public hospital doctor’s daily schedule, where four different patients were booked within a 10-minute window, one-fourth of the regular examination duration, according to reporting by online news outlet Diken

“Health does not fit into two minutes,” wrote the chamber, tagging Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.

According to the chamber, such overbooking would have grave consequences beyond malpractice lawsuits and violence against doctors. 

The growing shortage of doctors in Turkey has caused congestion in the public health system. Patients find it increasingly difficult to apply to Turkey’s public hospitals through the Centralized Doctor Appointment System (MHRS) due to the lack of available appointments. 

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) reported that 700 doctors applied for the Certificate of Good Standing necessary for job applications abroad in the first three months of 2024. The number stood at 3,025 for 2023. 

Doctors seek employment in European states due to increasing workplace violence and worsening working conditions in Turkey. 

Currently, Turkey has the lowest doctor-to-population ratio in Europe. To address the country’s shrinking doctor-per-capita ratio, the Turkish Health Ministry has allowed appointment requests from retired doctors aged 65-72.