Over 1,800 people sentenced to prison due to violence against healthcare workers

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Some 1,811 people have been sentenced to prison for violence against healthcare workers in the past five years in Turkey, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said in response to a parliamentary question filed by a deputy of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

“Some 3,064 people were fined and 1,811 people were sentenced to imprisonment due to violence against healthcare workers in health institutions between December 2015 and September 2020,” Koca said on Feb. 22.

“The investigations of 18,358 of the applications are continuing,” he added.

The minister was answering a parliamentary question submitted by CHP Deputy Ömer Fethi Gürel.

Violence against health care workers is still a major issue in Turkey amid the ongoing pandemic despite legal measures taken by authorities to prevent it.

According to a study conducted by Essential Health and Social Service Laborers’ Union (Öz-Sağlık-İş), nearly 67 percent of health care workers have been subjected to a form of violence at least once while working.

Around 361 people attacked 231 health care workers in 117 incidents that came to light in the last six months of 2020.

Koca also stated that many preventive measures have been taken to increase security precautions in health institutions.

These measures include the establishment of a personnel safety unit, making the buildings safe, education and raising awareness in the society.

Referring to the legal regulations, Koca said that it is aimed to increase the effectiveness of the investigation phase of crimes against healthcare workers and to deter crimes against them.

According to a law passed by the Turkish Parliament in April 2020, penalties for humiliating, threatening, or preventing healthcare workers from performing their duties were increased by 50 percent.

Hurriyet Daily News

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