Turkish Physicians Association Launches “White Watch” for Health Care Workers’ Rights

Our medical association managers from all over the country will come to the Turkish Medical Association and take part in the strike action in taking turns. All physicians/health workers and medical students will set up their own health councils to discuss and take their turn in our vigil. We are on the White Watch to bring the bill to the House by February 4th. We are announcing that if the bill does not materialize and our demands are not met, we will be at the work-strike on Tuesday, FEBRUARY 8th. It should be understood that we will have our last, one-day work-strike to bring our personal rights to the parliament. We will continue to fight and expand our work-strike actions until we get all our rights, especially our priority/urgent demands.

Turkish Physicians Association Launches “White Watch” for Health Care Workers’ Rights

The Turkish Medical Association TTB launched the White Watch for the economic, social, and personal rights of physicians and health workers from January 26th to February 4th with a press release in front of its headquarters.

On December 15th, The Turkish Medical Association went on a work stoppage to call attention to the health issues of the care workers. The strike was accompanied by a campaign called the White March from Istanbul to Ankara for physicians and health care workers’ economic, social, and personal rights. They took the mantra of, “Labor is ours, the word is ours.”
Yesterday, they started another leg of this struggle called the White Watch. Declaring that they were on a strike-work, the doctors will stay guard, on watch, at the TTB’s headquarters from January 26th to February 4th on the days the National Assembly will be in session. The vigil will be attended to and kept by the health workers, occupational associations, physician representatives in the National Assembly, labor organizations and pro-democracy associations, doctors’ organizations, and medical students.

“Last single-day task-strike”
After the White Watch, where different elements of health care efforts will be raised, it was announced that if the necessary legislation did not emerge in the parliament, the vigil would be reinstated on February 8th. The guard and work-stoppage announced in front of TTB Headquarters is called “the last one-day task-strike.” Physicians and health workers also expressed readiness to take longer-term strikes if their demands were not met. The press release was supported by the Health and Social Workers’ Union, the Revolutionary Health Workers’ Union, members and managers of various labor and professional organizations, and physician MPs.
TTB Central Council President Şebnem Koru Fincancı said that the government was not listening to the problems of the physicians. Koru stated that the health care workers face issues ranging from economic to violence and that if the issues of physicians and health workers continue to be listened to, health care may also stop.
Vigil Schedule
After Koru, TTB Central Council Member Kazim Dogan Eroğullerı took the microphone and read the press release. The statement summarized the struggle of the TTB and the White March. He said that they had had enough of the distractions of the government. In the last part of the statement, the action program was explained as follows:
Our medical association managers from all over the country will come to the Turkish Medical Association and take part in the strike action in taking turns. All physicians/health workers and medical students will set up their own health councils to discuss and take their turn in our vigil. We are on the White Watch to bring the bill to the House by February 4th. We are announcing that if the bill does not materialize and our demands are not met, we will be at the work-strike on Tuesday, FEBRUARY 8th. It should be understood that we will have our last, one-day work-strike to bring our personal rights to the parliament. We will continue to fight and expand our work-strike actions until we get all our rights, especially our priority/urgent demands.

After the announcement, Hosni Yildirim, co-leader of the Health and Social Workers’ Union, said that Reyhan Tüfekçi, a member of the Revolutionary Health Workers, would take part in the vigils with their own demands.
KESK, the Confederation of Public Workers Unions, Co-Leader Mehmet Bozgeyik, HDP, The Peoples’ Democratic Party, MP Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu, the main opposition party Republican People’s Party CHP’s MP Murat Emir, SOL Party, the Left Pary, and CHP representatives spoke and offered their support. After the speeches, the action was terminated, and the participants moved inside the TTB Headquarters for the strike.
Simultaneously, health labor and professional organizations in Istanbul and Izmir made statements in front of Taksim First Aid Hospital and Izmir Tepecik Training and Research Hospital.
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