Health care workers: Not allowed to resign but are being laid off in Turkey

The health care workers’ union Dev Sağlık İş from the DISK confederation, the Confederation of Progressive Labor Unions, made an announcement and said, “Human lives should not be dependent on ‘contracts’. When the world has called their entire healthcare workers and facilities to fight COVID-19 outbreak, our government and the hospital bosses have surprised us.”

Health care workers:  Not allowed to resign but are being laid off in Turkey

In a surprising and questionable move, the Turkish government forbade the health workers from resigning. How the Islamic AKP government will enforce that still remains to be seen.

The question, however, is why the government is silent when the hospital administration lays off health care workers in the middle of a pandemic.

The question is real, when one considers the workers at the Istanbul Şişli Etfal Hospital who were laid off due to “insufficient number of patients” in their departments.

The administration at the hospital didn’t even bother to talk to the workers directly, choosing to send a text message asking not to appear at their works anymore.

The workers are mostly from a contracting firm that provides the healthcare professionals. While 40 people have been forced to unpaid leave from the tomography and the MR department, 7 people have been laid off.

One of the reasons behind this move is the ending of the contract the hospital announced.

The health care workers’ union Dev Sağlık İş from the DISK confederation, the Confederation of Progressive Labor Unions, made an announcement and said, “Human lives should not be dependent on ‘contracts’. When the world has called their entire healthcare workers and facilities to fight COVID-19 outbreak, our government and the hospital bosses have surprised us.”

The union went on to say, “The Department of Health announces they need 32,000 health care professionals. However, at the same time they lay off 7 people from their Etfal hospital with the excuse that the contract had ended. The laid off workers belong to our union as well as the 40 workers who were forced to unpaid leave.

“The workers who have been forced out of work were relieved of their duties even before the contract’s end in June. The administration claimed there was not enough work as they consider the patients as customers. The latest move proves that the hospital is being used as a trading post instead of caring for peoples’ health. The workers had expressed their desire to work in other departments of the hospital where the intensive care is being given. However, the only reply the workers received was the layoffs.”

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