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Turkey may invite Greek doctors to work in its state hospitals

31 July 2014

Turkey’s shortage of general medical practitioners and specialists could lead to it employing foreign doctors in its state hospitals, Turkish daily ‘Hurriyet’ reports.

Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu said that:

“We are thinking of employing doctors from Greece and other countries, who we believe would fulfill the needs of our people and who will be accredited by YÖK [the Turkish Higher Education Board] after the related legal regulations have been made.

We [Turkey] have been increasing the capacity of our medical faculties since 2007, but such efforts will only start yielding results this year,” he added.

The Health Minister said that they may target Greece in particular because, “Greece has a high surplus in the number of doctors it has… The number of doctors per 10,000 people in Greece stands at 61, while the figure for Turkey is 17,” he said, recalling that Germany signed a deal with Greece last year to hire 15,000 doctors for nine years of employment.

Turkey needs 20,000 doctors who are specialists and 10,000 general practitioners, the health minister stated.

Currently, Turkish regulations do not permit the employment of foreign doctors in the public sector.

The ministry will be meeting with YÖK officials to discuss the specific requirements needed in the upcoming days, Müezzinoğlu said, adding that the necessary regulations were expected to be finalised before the end of the year.

“Some 7,000 doctors in Greece are looking for jobs abroad. And we need them. [Turkey’s] doors are open to Greece’s 7,000 doctors. I invite them to serve this country and nation with their knowledge,” Müezzinoğlu had said in October 2013, at a time when on 24 Greek doctors were working at private hospitals.

A statutory decree issued on 2nd October, 2011, allowed foreign doctors and nurses to be employed in the Turkish private sector, as new regulations on working conditions were approved in 2012.

Foreign doctors working in Turkey will be expected to receive a minimum score of “B” on Turkish language tests, which will be monitored by the Turkish Teaching Application and Research Centres (TÖMER) in accordance with criteria set forth by the European Language Portfolio.

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