Turkish Medical Association condemns Health Minister for ‘money’ insinuation

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) on Nov. 10 condemned Health Minister Fahrettin Koca’s insinuation about doctors leaving Turkey to earn more money during the Ministry Planning and Budgeting Commission meeting.

Duvar English

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) criticized Health Minister Fahrettin Koca’s insinuation that doctors were leaving Turkey to earn more money during a Health Ministry budget meeting. 

During the meeting, Koca answered criticisms about Turkish doctors leaving the country with “That is not because of us,” while rubbing his fingers together, gesturing “money.” 

TTB posted the video on their social media and said, “Here is the ‘analysis’ on why doctors leave Turkey from the Health Minister of our country where violence in healthcare and doctor suicides increases, hopelessness, and futurelessness deepens, and foreign language textbooks replace medical textbooks at medical schools… WE ARE ASHAMED!”

Doctors in Turkey are emigrating to practice in European cities with escalating numbers over the last few years. The Turkish “doctor drain” is due to increasing workplace violence and worsening working conditions in recent years. 

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) reported that 2,285 doctors applied for the Certificate of Good Standing necessary for job applications abroad in the first half of 2023.

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