Turkey: health system review
ResumenTurkey has accomplished remarkable improvements in terms of health status in the last three decades, particularly after the implementation of the Health Transformation Program (HP (Sag˘lıkta Dönüs¸üm Programı)). Average life expectancy reached 71.8 for men and 76.8 for women in 2010. The infant mortality rate (IMR) decreased to 10.1 per 1000 live births in 2010, down from 117.5 in 1980. Despite these achievements, there are still discrepancies in terms of infant mortality between rural and urban areas and different parts of the country, although these have been diminishing over the years. The higher infant mortality rates in rural areas can be attributed to low socioeconomic conditions, low female education levels and the prevalence of infectious diseases. The main causes of death are diseases of the circulatory system followed by malignant neoplasms. Turkey’s health care system has been undergoing a far-reaching reform process HTP since 2003 and radical changes have occurred both in the provision and the financing of health care services. Health services are now financed through a social security scheme covering the majority of the population, the General Health Insurance Scheme (GHIS (Genel Sag˘lık Sigortası)), and services are provided both by public and private sector facilities. The Social Security Institution (SSI (Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu)), financed through payments by employers and employees and government contributions in cases of budget deficit, has become a monopsonic (single buyer) power on the purchasing side of health care services. On the provision side, the Ministry of Health (Sag˘lık Bakenlıgı) is the main actor and provides primary, secondary and tertiary care through its facilities across the country. Universities are also major providers of tertiary care. The private sector has increased its range over recent years, particularly after arrangements paved the way for private sector provision of services to the SSI. The most important reforms since 2003 have been improvements in citizens’ health status, the introduction of the GHIS, the instigation of a purchaser–provider split in the health care system, the introduction of a family practitioner scheme nationwide, the introduction of a performance-based payment system in Ministry of Health hospitals, and transferring the ownership of the majority of public hospitals to the Ministry of Health. Future challenges for the Turkish health care system include, reorganizing and enforcing a referral system from primary to higher levels of care, improving the supply of health care staff, introducing and extending public hospital governance structures that aim to grant autonomous status to public hospitals, and further improving patient rights.
Tatar, M; Mollahaliloğlu, S; Şahin, B; Aydın, S; Maresso, A and Hernández-Quevedo, C & European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. (2011). Turkey: health system review. World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/330325
Health Systems in Transition;vol. 13, n. 6
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