Turkey's investment on healthcare helped a longer life expectancy and less mortality rates, World Health Organization (WHO) officials say.
Assessing the results of a new global report on healthcare, officials outlined how the country's efforts helped decrease infant mortality, increase life expectancy and the overall health of the Turkish public. Colin Mathers, WHO coordinator of the Mortality and Burden of Disease Unit in the Health System and Innovation told Anadolu Agency that investments in the last seven years helped ensure a decline in child mortality and Turkey reached the same level as developed countries in this field.
Gretchen Stevens, another WHO official, credited the country's healthcare reforms with longer life expectancy.
In recent years, Turkey has taken steps to rejuvenate the crumbling healthcare system. It prioritized the domestic production of drugs and vaccination, set up a stem cell coordination center, modernized its decrepit hospitals and launched a nationwide campaign against obesity.
In 2003, the country embarked upon an ambitious reform package to overcome major inequities in healthcare and in the following decade, it managed to offer universal health coverage.
Within 10 years, it had achieved universal health coverage and notable improvements in outcomes and equity. It also developed a patient-centered system and established family health centers, basically an upgraded version of small neighborhood clinics, reaching out to women and children better.
The average life expectancy for Turkish citizens increased by 1.7 years and reached 78 for the years of 2013 and 2014, according to the latest available data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
Women statistically outlived men by 5.4 years as average life expectancy stood at 75.3 years for men and 80.7 years for women.