The Defne State Hospital, which was proudly inaugurated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on May 22 in the earthquake-ravaged district of Hatay, faced an unexpected setback as it was inundated by floodwaters on May 23, a mere day after its grand opening.
The hospital's groundbreaking ceremony, which took place on March 24, was also controversial due to the footage of Erdoğan pouring concrete on a very small area. Opposition politicians at the time deemed Erdoğan's attempt a publicity stunt.
At the inauguration ceremony on May 22, Erdoğan criticized the opposition politicians and stated that those who referred to the groundbreaking ceremony as a show-off became silent after the opening of the hospital. Also, government officials claimed that the hospital will function full-capacity despite being built in three months. Nonetheless, the problems started from the first day.
The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) on May 23 stated on its social media account: "The TTB and Hatay Medical Chamber met with physicians and the chief physician at Defne State Hospital and exchanged ideas on the solution of the problems experienced. On the other hand, it was observed that the hospital is still under construction and only polyclinic services can be provided."
TTB ve Hatay Tabip Odası, dün açılışı yapılan Defne Devlet Hastanesi'nde hekimler/sağlık emekçileri ve başhekimle görüştü, yaşanan sorunların çözümü üzerine fikir alışverişinde bulundu. Öte yandan hastanede inşaatın sürdüğü ve sadece poliklinik hizmeti verilebildiği gözlemlendi. pic.twitter.com/IIfhrRXApG— Türk Tabipleri Birliği (@ttborgtr) May 22, 2023
Hatay Medical Chamber chair Sevdar Yılmaz pointed out that only outpatient clinic services are provided at the hospital while the inpatient services and the operating rooms are not working.
He added, "The emergency room and dialysis unit are not working. Construction on the hospital still continues. It is not right for the hospital to be put into service before it is completely constructed and inspected.”
Yılmaz stated that the patients had to be taken out of the hospital after the flooding even though there was a light rain.
Nearly all of the hospitals collapsed in Hatay after the two major earthquakes that hit southeastern Turkey on Feb. 6. It has come to the light that experts issued warning reports regarding the conditions of the hospitals years ago.