Turkey's top health authority on Tuesday announced the Health Ministry will employ 12,000 new health personnel as part of the country's measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The ministry is set to appoint 7,000 nurses, 1,700 midwives and 2,864 health technicians in 14 different fields, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter.
The appointments will be made following applicants' online submission of their preferences for placements, without an interview process. "The appointments will strengthen us in these difficult days of our struggle with the pandemic," Koca said.
Health care workers are at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic. They work long shifts and often cannot see their families for fear of infections. The Health Committee of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) recently approved a proposal by unions of health care workers to classify COVID-19 as an occupational disease. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) endorsed the bid and its leader Devlet Bahçeli pledged on Tuesday during a parliamentary group meeting of his party that they would lend their support if a bill is enacted on the issue. People suffering from occupational diseases are entitled to various rights and benefits, including incapacity benefits and regular payments to the families of people who die of the diseases.