Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca made statements about the migration of doctors abroad and the treatment of SMA disease during his ministry’s 2024 budget discussions at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Planning and Budget Commission.
The 2024 budget of the Ministry of Health was discussed in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Planning and Budget Commission. Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca answered the questions and criticisms of the MPs after the speeches.
AID SENT TO GAZA
Before answering the questions, Minister Koca gave last minute information about the evacuation of cancer patients and injured people from Gaza and said:
* “The ship carrying the aid we sent to Gaza will depart from Izmir at around 23:00 tonight and will arrive at Egypt’s El-Arish Port tomorrow. It will be the first cargo ship to arrive in Egypt in this process. It contains 8 field hospitals, 20 ambulances, 500 tons of medical supplies and medicine. We consulted with the Egyptian Minister of Health for nearly 1 hour. Most recently, I received an invitation to welcome pediatric patients with cancer as they entered Egypt to bring them to Turkey. Minister of health of 3 countries; With the decision we took as Egypt, Israel and Turkey, a health coordination team was established and names were determined for 3 countries. “I hope we can bring patients to our country to treat them safely as soon as possible.”
“WE HAVE NOT GIVEN THE OPERATION OF ANY CITY HOSPITAL TO A CONTRACTOR COMPANY”
Koca responded to the MPs’ criticism of city hospitals as follows:
* “Let’s name the city hospitals debate. According to some politicians, city hospitals are a burden to the country, but according to our patients, they are a great opportunity and convenience in cities. We did not give the operation of the medical services of all hospitals to any investor or contractor, although it was in the contract, that is, we removed it from the contract. There was no city hospital where we did not cut the 25-year contract period, considering late opening situations. Newly opened Izmir City Hospital; 10 years and 3 months have been cut from 25 years, that is, wages will be paid for 14 years and 8 months, and after 14 years and 8 months, it will belong to our state.
* Pine Sakura; It took 6 years and 7 months, and after 15 years and 7 months, Pine Sakura will belong to our state. KocaeliIt was 9 years and 9 months that were cut off from , Kocaeli will be a state after 15 years and 1 month from today. Etlik City Hospital; 7 years and 8 months have been cut, the remaining period is 16 years and 1 month as of today. There is no hospital that has not been cut. Especially considering that our responsibilities were not fulfilled, we did what was necessary within our means in the public interest. The biggest power we have under the contract is the opening schedule. The rent starts with the opening, if it does not reach the point we want, that is why we do not allow it to open. The average service life of city hospitals currently does not exceed 17 years, but in 15-16 years, all city hospitals will belong to the state. Ataturk Our Training and Research Hospital was not normally ours in the contract, it will be operational as a 480-unit Dental Training and Research Hospital and the hospital is ours.
“THERE IS NO GUARANTEE OTHER THAN THE RENTAL GUARANTEE IN CITY HOSPITALS”
* We also know that the risk of sudden changes in foreign exchange and inflation in city hospitals is very great. In order to minimize that risk, a law article was introduced and passed by the Parliament, it was the ceiling wage application. In the new period, we have set a ceiling fee for all of them, including retroactive ones. The total usage fee, at the highest point, is 27.5 billion euros for all city hospitals, except Kütahya. The figure to be given for one square meter is 2 thousand 421. The cost per square meter of the city hospital, including the device and infrastructure, is 1,465 in today’s money. euro.
* Therefore, it is no longer a burden to the country. Its share in the total budget will gradually decrease day by day because there is a ceiling application and a significant part of the payments were made in the first years. I am reflexive at the point of not closing any hospitals just because city hospitals are being built. Dışkapı, Sami Ulus, Onkoloji are being demolished and bigger ones are being built instead. There can be no other savings regarding any of them. “In city hospitals, there is no guarantee other than the rental guarantee, the number of patients, hospital occupancy rate, tomography, MRI, imaging, etc. are never guaranteed.”
“THERE IS A 20 PERCENT INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF EXAMINATIONS IN MHRS COMPARED TO LAST YEAR”
Regarding the questions about the problem of finding an appointment at MHRS, Koca said, “The increase in the total number of examinations regarding MHRS compared to last year is 20 percent. In the period when you say there is a problem in total, 20 percent more patients were seen. We see as many patients as an MHRS appointment without an appointment, except for emergency patients. The number of MHRS patients we treat on an average day is 950 thousand. “650 thousand of them come only with MHRS, 1/3 of them are empty, the problem is in sub-branches,” he said.
“OUR DATA DOES NOT MATCH WITH TTB ON PHYSICIAN MIGRATION”
Stating that the data they have on physician immigration does not match the TTB data and that they requested data sharing from TTB on this issue, Koca said, “I say this with the information of the police, that in 2022, 1359 people ask us, but 450 people work abroad, the rest are in the country. “It seems that 1321, 401 people went abroad in 2023,” he said.
“OUR STUDIES ON GENE THERAPY HAS REACHED THE FINAL STAGE”
Describing his studies for the treatment of SMA disease, Koca said, “Two drugs used in the treatment of SMA are on our treatment list. Our work on gene therapy has reached the final stage, but there is a significant need for infrastructure in this regard. We do not have enough application centers in our country and we aim to increase their number. “We aim to start the clinical research with the application, our discussions are in this direction, I hope we will get results,” he said.
“OUR BIOTECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE STARTED WORKING ON THE DOMESTIC HPV VACCINE”
Answering the question about the promise of the HPV vaccine being free, Koca said, “We activated our scientific committee on the HPV vaccine. One of the most important issues here is that the manufacturer is limited, there are only 2 approved manufacturers. It would be more meaningful if we plan the way in which the demand on this issue is expressed in a way that also protects the public interest. My request to you on this matter is, please do not weaken our hand. We assigned our Presidency of Turkish Health Institutes to produce the vaccine locally. Our Biotechnology Institute has started working, the first information shows that we can produce both the domestic vaccine and this one. “We are working to provide the vaccine under the most favorable conditions,” he said. (PHOENIX)