Police stepping in to ensure hospital staff safety

asistanhekim.org English Medical News

New security measures are set to kick into gear after a number of attacks on hospital staff in recent weeks. 

In order to prevent what appears to be escalating violence against healthcare providers in hospitals in Turkey, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of the Interior issued a joint circular on Saturday, which outlined measures to ensure the safety of medical personnel working in hospitals across the country.

According to the circular, the protective security measures will be increased in some areas of hospitals such as medical examination rooms, observation rooms and emergency rooms as well as outside of the hospitals. Hospital security guards and police officers will patrol inside the hospitals to protect medical staff. According to the circular, the police or other law enforcement authorities such as gendarmerie officers will be able to take necessary legal action against patients or relatives of patients who verbally or physically attack hospital staff, without waiting for a complaint to be filed by the victim.

The Ministry of Health will also provide legal assistance to victims of the attacks. All security measures or investigations will be carried out without interrupting healthcare services in the hospitals.

Turkey has seen two violent attacks against medical personnel within the past two weeks. The first attack happened on April 17 when cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Ersin Arslan, from the southeastern province of Gaziantep, was stabbed to death by the grandson of one of his patients. Arslan’s death brought to light the subject of safety of medical personnel in Turkey. These concerns escalated when Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Van deputy Özdal Üçer attacked a doctor in Van only four days after the first incident. Üçer felt the doctor had not acted quickly enough in treating his wife and daughter, who were injured in a car accident. Numerous other incidents have been noted across the country following these two attacks.

Meanwhile, the hospital where Arslan worked has been renamed the Gaziantep Dr. Ersin Arslan State Hospital.

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