Reaction to Minister Koca’s hand gesture

Reaction to Minister Koca’s hand gesture

Answering the question “Why are doctors migrating abroad” at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey’s Planning and Budget Commission, Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca made a money counting sign while saying “Not because of us”. Doctor organizations, doctors and doctor-based politicians reacted greatly.

Minister of Health Fahrettin KocaThe money counting sign he made while explaining the migration of doctors abroad raised the doctor community to its feet.

Reacting to Koca’s response, doctor organizations announced that they condemned the Minister in their statements.


Turkish Medical Association stated that they were ashamed of the Minister’s analysis and said, “The Minister of Health’s ‘analysis’ on why doctors emigrated in our country, where violence and physician suicides in healthcare are escalating, despair and futurelessness are deepening, and foreign language books are replacing medical books in faculties… We are ashamed!” While reacting with the following statements, HEKİMSEN said, “Minister of Health Dr. We would like to inform you that the action made by Fahrettin Koca in his statement in the Parliament cannot be explained by us in any way, and that we do not accept and oppose it. The gesture used by Mr. Koca to describe doctors who go abroad makes it seem like doctors only work for money. “Reducing this to just money ignores many problems such as violence, poor working conditions, and denied personal rights,” he said.


In the statement made by the Family Medicine Employees Union, the question “Because of whom?” was asked and said:

-In this country, every day there is violence in healthcare, legislative regulations that make the service difficult, arbitrary practices of the administrations, disrespect of patients and managers, the fact that we try to continue life, service and profession with wages at the poverty line or have to continue to provide healthcare services to people amidst so many problems. Whose reason is it that we seek to provide service and do our job? In this system that has become unsustainable, money is the last reason for us!


Stating that doctors go abroad not for money, but because of the health system left under rubble, the Health and Social Service Workers’ Union responded to the Minister’s move with the following statements:

-Mr. Minister, as you have shown, doctors do not leave this country for money. Doctors and healthcare workers are leaving this country because you have not created safe working environments and left the healthcare system in ruins. You and your bureaucrats are leaving because you did not fulfill your duties and responsibilities.

-They are leaving because you do not employ enough health personnel and you divert the health budget to public health services and capital by planning according to the needs of the capital rather than the public’s health.

-This money counting sign you made where you should be protecting the honor and dignity of this country’s doctors and nurses has offended us. While your managers were hiding in their offices during the pandemic and earthquake, your accusation of those who work hard in intensive care units, despite the lack of protective equipment, as money lovers will never be forgotten.

-You are the cause of violence in healthcare. In fact, when we look at your 2024 health budget, considering that you are the boss of a private hospital and knowing that you are undermining the public health service, we leave the interpretation to our people.


The Physician Association Union also described the move as “very bad” and said, “While the 200 thousand physicians who are the sons of this country, who do not go away, who provide health services to our people and who work devotedly to serve our country, expect you, as the Minister, to prevent violence, improve working conditions, and ensure scientific conditions, the only problem is Showing it as if it is money is the worst thing done to us doctors who stay here and love their country. He shared his views: “While the violence should be prevented by the minister, the fact that he made that hand gesture to his own doctors is itself a sign of violence.”

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