Turkey's Healthcare System (03:26)
Cansu Biliet, age 11, has a tumor in her femur; orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bulet Erot will replace it with an extendable prosthesis. Pioneering operations are now possible for all citizens. Cansu's surgery goes well.
Marmara University Hospital (04:36)
Istanbul's new facility reflects Turkey's healthcare reforms, including tripled spending. Emergency room doctor Mercer Gumacil sees a car accident victim and a teenager who attempted suicide. Providing free emergency services has improved care but is overwhelming hospital staff members.
Public-Private Health Insurance Model (04:04)
Turkish health reforms provide care to poorer citizens. Dr. Erot starts Cansu's rehabilitation; her father cannot afford to stop work. His employer pays insurance premiums and the state has subsidized the operation.
Single Health Insurance System (02:25)
Everyone pays the same insurance fees and the 10 million poorest citizens are exempt from premiums. Free hospital care and vaccinations have improved Turkey's child mortality rate. Baby Melek has a heart condition.
Increasing Healthcare Access (02:12)
Some private hospitals have joined the state system, enabling poorer citizens to receive specialist care. Chest expert Dr. Mustafa Yuksel schedules Felat Tukur for surgery to improve his concave chest; Felat has traveled 1,500 kilometers for treatment.
Driving Down Costs (03:27)
Dr. Yuksel inserts flexible metal bars in Felat’s chest to correct concavity. The health ministry bargains for equipment and drugs, and sets fixed rates for hospital services. Felat is discharged a day later, happy with the results.
Increasing Healthcare Efficiency (02:00)
Increased patient access meant doctors had to work longer and harder; many switched to private hospitals for better salaries. The state also had fewer initial healthcare professionals than other European countries.
Health Reform Setbacks (04:02)
Cansu is running a fever; her prosthetic femur hurts. Increased access and affordability and modern diseases like obesity pressure Turkey's healthcare. Meltum Cochin waits for gastric bypass surgery for weight loss. Preventative health campaigns are important for a sustainable system.
Obesity Treatment (02:41)
Meltum prepares mentally for gastric bypass surgery. Dr. Ossum Ginkie is one of Turkey's few laparoscopic bariatric surgeons. Despite high costs, the operation improves long term health outcomes.
Potential System Abuse (04:20)
Dr. Yuksul orders tests for Ali Unlusan with advanced lung cancer. His five year survival chance is small, but doctors are rewarded bonuses for giving more treatments— a policy introduced to improve physician productivity. Patient expectations increase, as healthcare improves.
Overwhelming Istanbul's Emergency Services (03:41)
Despite investments in primary healthcare, many people treat the emergency room as their first stop for non-urgent ailments. Tempers flare in the waiting room at Marmara University Hospital. Dr. Gumacil's team is unable to save a heart attack victim.
Unsustainable Healthcare System? (04:09)
Meltum recovers from gastric bypass surgery, a popular procedure with limited operations. The pediatric ward is also overwhelmed. Doctors appeal to health minister Mehmet Müezzinoglu to increase capacity but the health budget has been capped.
Room for Improvement (02:10)
Dr. Yuksel says economists must decide whether Turkey's health reforms are sustainable; most of his operations are state subsidized. Former health minister Recep Akdag says improving the system is an ongoing process.
Turkish Healthcare Summary (02:43)
Three weeks after surgery, Cansu walks on her prosthetic femur. Dr. Erot says the cancer has been contained. Turkey has provided universal healthcare in a decade, but success has brought new challenges. Meltem has lost 55 kilograms and Ali is receiving care at home.
Credits: Turkey’s Transformation: The People’s Health (00:30)
Credits: Turkey’s Transformation: The People’s Health
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