Bilkent City Hospital, which has been introduced by the Ministry of Health as “the biggest hospital on the world that have been built at one time” has been opened. After Atatürk Training and Research Hospital has moved in the City Hospital and health services have begun to be provided, patients have been complaining about having no ECG scan and no  medical analysis reports due to lack of paper. Notably the 138 years-old Numune Hospital, the hospitals that are “one move ahead” are being closed one by one. Ankara Chamber of Physicians Chair Vedat Bulut assessed the city hospitals.

Cem Gurbetoğlu

Being at the agenda with the health tourism debates, the City Hospitals are being discussed in so many respects such as patients, health workers and physicians as well as public transportations and urban policy. Beginning to admit patients after Atatürk Training and Research Hospital has moved in, the City Hospital was introduced by the Ministry of Health as “the biggest hospital that was built at one time both in Turkey and in the world” months ago. While it was planned to open in last November, Bilkent City Hospital could be opened three months later than the planned time, and it has revealed that there has been almost no preparation for service. Making an assessment about Bilkent City Hospital, in which even the physicians get lost and the patients could not get their analysis report and could not have ECG scan due to “lack of paper”, the Chair of Ankara Chamber of Physicians Vedat Bulut made the warning that “In medium and long terms the health budget will be go bankruptcy. Health will be accessible by the ones who have money. This system will collapse”.

7 HOSPITALS WILL BE CLOSED DOWN FOR BILKENT CITY HOSPITAL

Atatürk Training and Research Hospital has moved in the Bilkent City Hospital that was built by public-private partnership. In the institutions where the preparations for moving in the City Hospital are going on, in Numune Training and Research Hospital, in Turkey High Graduate Training and Research Hospital, in Zekai Tahir Burak Women’s Health and Research Hospital, in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Training and Research Hospital and in Dışkapı Children’s Health Hematology and Oncology Training and Research Hospital, the health personnel are all anxious. Since access to Bilkent City Hospital is quite hard, most of health workers are seeking to find health institutions that are close to their dwellings because of probable traffic jam and increasing transportation costs; access to the hospital for patients is another source of concern on the other hand.

138 YEARS-OLD NUMUNE WILL CLOSE DOWN

Among the closing down hospitals is one of the oldest health institutions, namely Ankara Numune Training and Research Hospital. Providing health service in the second half of 19th Century with the name “Gureba Hospital”, it was given the name “Ankara Numune Research Hospital” by a law acted in 1924. In 1935, German professors were assigned to work in Numune Hospital, while after 1945, during the constitution years of Ankara University Faculty of Medicine, some specialists of from the hospital were assigned as academics and some clinics of the hospital were taken over by the faculty. In the 1990s when scientific discovery, training and service trio became important, specifically in 1998 the hospital took the name Ankara Numune Training and Research Hospital.

Providing health service to patients from all around Turkey since 1881, Numune is the biggest training and health service institution that affiliated to the Ministry of Health. As it were, being as close as “one move ahead”, Numune for years has been a health center that patients both from Ankara and all of Turkey has found remedy and preferred. And now it is among the hospitals that are closed down and move in Bilkent City Hospital.

‘3 BILLION DOLLARS FOR 150 BEDS’

The Chair of Ankara Chamber of Physicians Vedat Bulut said that all these established hospitals that had provided health service for the citizens from both Ankara and the rest of Turkey for more than half a century would close down. Making a statement to halagazeteciyiz.net Bulut told that “Numune Hospital, Atatürk Hospital and High Graduate Hospital will move in the new city hospital. If these hospitals were closed down, the new hospital that was built by 3 billion dollars invesment would only provide Ankara with extra 150 beds”. Underlining that “what is to be questioned in that case is why will 3 billion dollars be expended for extra 150 beds and 9 billion dollars be repaid in 25 years”, Bulut said that there was not a logical explanation for this. Bulut stated that “it will be convenient to continue health services without closing down these hospitals. The Ministry of Health that is speaking of the health tourism should better stop closing the hospitals, directing the polyclinic services and inpatient treatments to the private sector, and make the health services be accessible from all corners of the city.”

‘HEALTH OF ANKARA’S RESIDENTS IS BEING MADE A PRESENT TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR’

Criticizing also protecting with special laws these mega investments that are realized without planning the transportation problems and ambulance services, without exchanging opinions with the professional associations and the trade unions, Bulut said the followings: “It is unbelievable to leave the citizens to mercy of private sector and cause them in need of private sector, and gather the hospitals in two areas and leaving the other districts without hospitals. The priority for this project is not public health service, but the private sector’s money appetite. People of Ankara will be deluded and deceived by these good and magnificent mega investments; the ones who want to sell and drain everything will package these services and make them a present to the private sector.”

‘THIS SYSTEM WILL COLLAPSE’

Touching upon the fact that the city hospitals have been urgently opened for the election propaganda, Bulut remarked that the area surrounding the hospital was in mud and the environmental design had not been finished yet. Stating that “the workers have not been paid for months, the ones who oppose are fired, put under custody”, Bulut pointed out that the cost of health service under these conditions would also increase. Bulut made the warning that “The health budget will collapse in medium and long terms. The health services that provide medicine and treatment will stop. People who have money will access the health service. This system will collapse.”

“THERE MAY BE LOSSES OF LIVES”

Recalling that there will be transportation problems with the opening of Bilkent City Hospital, Bulut stated that it was estimated that there would be 8 thousands health workers, 30 thousands daily applications to the policlinics and more than 2500 full-beds. Emphasizing that with the hospital attendants and people who come for the supplementary services there will be a population burden of more than 45 thousands people, Bulut said that with these population the hospital itself become a city, and to it can be assigned a governor to make it a province. Focusing also on the how far the hospitals are, Bulut recalled also that “there may be losses of lives in the transfers by ambulances”. Moreover drawing attention to patients’ repayment to the hospitals, Bulut make the warning that “The laborers and workers who try to fill the pool with their insurance payments will see how their savings will be stolen from them by drainage pipes installed under the pool. This will make the health service cease in the long run. While people who have money will utilize the services, the others will not be able to access the services.”

‘THE CITY HOSPITALS ARE CONSIDERED AS MALLS, HOTELS’

Stating that the most important problem of the health workers is absence of facilities for their very human needs such as rest, sitting together, Bulut told that “There is no recreation room for the hospital assistances ad the other hospital personnel, since it is considered as a mall and a hotel. Even they have no day care centers. 400-500 children of employees of this hospital have not been taken into consideration. As in many other cases, the government does not have respect for laborers’ health and it sees the laborer as a slave rather than a human being.

‘THE PHYSCIANS ARE COMPLAINING’

Specifying that there is no chance to hire a residence near to this hospital, Bulut spoke as follows: “Rents in the Bilkent district are higher than the health workers’ wages. Another problem is no consideration of competence for clinics’ heads who will be employed in the city hospitals. While the Ministry of Health had removed the clinic chiefships and started the administrative and educational responsibility practices, it totally ruined the old order for sake of setting up cadres. The academic-scientific order has been ruined by the Gulen Community oriented assignments which mean wasting labors of doyens of their professions. Now they are damaging the system they have ruined already. Ruling out the competence and severance of the physicians who moved in the hospital, the Ministry Health is assigning those who are close to itself and to whom it can reach easily to structure and organize the clinics.”

Stating that tens of physicians phone themselves to deliver their complaints about the issue, Bulut said that: “But an empire of fear has been established, they hesitate to struggle for this issue in their institutions. They think that they will have troubles if make a statement on the issue.”

Translation: Aydın Ördek