Figures indicate that patient satisfaction in public hospitals in Turkey has shown a steady increase, reaching a rate as high as 90 percent, according to the Ministry of Health.
Fatma Şahin, the head of Patients' and Workers' Safety and Rights Department of Turkey's Public Hospitals Authority within the ministry of health, said in a meeting Wednesday that the patients' rights unit successfully solved 98% of 100,000 inquiries and requests put forth by patients in 2017.
Şahin told Anadolu Agency that the Ministry of Health is prioritizing patient satisfaction and preventing workplace violence against healthcare professionals, and hopes to fill in any missing gaps in the near future.
"Our patients' requests, submissions and necessities can be solved by applying to our unit. Patient satisfaction has reached a very high level in our country," she said.
Şahin said the unit is working on various improvements such as upgrading hospital rooms to ensure comfort and efficiency, choosing locations that are accessible to patients, allowing patients to consult with their chosen doctors at any given time and providing patients with appropriate places of worship in hospitals.
Newly built public hospitals are also equipped with the latest medical technology, Şahin added.
The ministry is constantly tracking the progress of public hospitals around the country to ensure all necessary support is provided, she said.
In a revolutionary move to improve the health of millions, Turkey announced in July that all types of cancer treatment and surgeries would be free of charge for all citizens in private hospitals. Jülide Sarıeroğlu, Minister of Labor and Social Security, announced that they amended a regulation for medical coverage to eliminate all additional fees regarding the treatment of cancers.
"We fulfilled our pledge to our cancer patients that we will help them fight against this disease," she said in a written statement.
In recent years, Turkey has taken steps to rejuvenate the crumbling healthcare system. Hospitals run by the Health Ministry and Turkey's Social Security Institution (SGK) were merged to prevent overcrowding in the latter. The government also cut red tape for the treatment of patients with social security at teaching hospitals. Existing hospitals have been modernized and more than 500 new hospitals have opened in Turkey.