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REGULATIONS AND NEW DEVELOPMENTS ON VIOLENCE ACTIONS AGAINST HEALTH PERSONNEL

Violence related to personnel in the health sector is occasionally brought to the agenda in our country, but even if the problem is tried to be solved with the studies and steps taken, it is obvious that it is necessary to take effective measures in this regard. Especially in recent years, it has been seen that violence against healthcare personnel has increased more and more in the news bulletins and it has been on the agenda of our country. Regarding the subject matter; the study named “Violence Against Doctors and Nurses in hospitals in Turkey” in which 254 doctors and nurses participated has discovered as a result of the research that the 74.4% of the participants were found to be exposed to some kind of violence. As for the type of violence, it was founded that 87.3% of the participants were exposed to verbal violence, 12.2% to physical violence, 0.5% to sexual violence. In another study in which 429 health personnel participated, the rates have been determined as follows: the personnel who have not been exposed to violence in the past three years is 37.2%, the personnel having been exposed to violence at most twice is 15.3% and the personnel exposed to violence more than two times in the last three years is 47.4%.

While it is our responsibility to overcome the difficulties our healthcare professionals while performing their duties, it has become inevitable to take precautions to protect our healthcare personnel, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic and their huge responsibility during this period.

Many studies on the subject have been carried out so far and a number of measures and precautions have been implemented. For example; in the Law on Amending Some Laws and Decree-Laws Related to Health[1] which has been accepted and become valid by the Great National Assembly of Turkey on December 15, 2018;

  • It has been stated that the person who exposes violence against health personnel shall be arrested by police force without requiring for complaint and sent to the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office,
  • It has been stated that the testimony of the victim personnel can be taken at the workplace,
  • It has also been decided to apply these provisions to crimes which was commited deliberately due to their duties against the personnel working in private sector health instutions and organizations.

As a current development; the Law on Amedments Related to Higher Education Law and Some Laws has been accepted on 17.04.2020 and it includes new regulations on sanctions against violence against health personnel in 28th article.

It has been stated in the 28th article within the scope of the Law that the following regulations will be added to the Annex-12 of the Health Services Fundamental Law, after the first paragraph of the article. Accordingly; for the crimes Deliberately Injuring (86th article), Threat (106th article), Offense of Libel (125tharticle) and Resistance not to Perform the Duty (265th article) regulated in the Turkish Penal Code Numbered 5237, which is committed due to their duties of health personnel and auxiliary health personnel working in public or private health institutions and organizations, it has been stated that;

  • The penalty rate to be determined according to the related articles will be increased by half,
  • The provisions of the postponement of the prison sentence regulated in 51th article of the Turkish Penal Code, will not be applied.
  • Additionally; if there are other health personnel and auxiliary health personnel who can provide the service given by the victim to the offender who exposed the violence or her/his relatives, the service can be provided by the other related personnel.

[1] 7151 numbered Law on Amending Some Laws and Decree-Laws Related to Health, https://www.resmigazete.gov.tr/eskiler/2018/12/20181205-8.htm


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