The President of World Medical Association, WMA, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, Thursday, accused the Turkish government of oppression and attempt to silence the Turkish Medical Association, TMA which had spoken up against issues concerning public health and the well-being of citizens of the country.
Enabulele called on the government to embrace dialogue and collaboration with the Association in resolving disputes instead of clamping down on the doctors.
The Turkish government is locked in a legal battle with the leadership of the TMA, a development the Global President of the medical association noted is capable of affecting healthcare delivery and causing severe harm to patients, as well as eroding medical professionalism in the country.
Enabulele, in a statement from Ankara, Turkey, also embarked on a campaign rally against the alleged continued persecution of leaders of the Turkish Medical Association, (TMA). Accompanied by a delegation of TMA, led by its President, Prof. Sebnem Korur Fincanci, representative of the Standing Committee of European Doctors, Dr. Ole Johan Bakke, and other stakeholders, Enabulele addressed a mammoth crowd within the premises of the court.
The number one global doctor expressed the association’s great worry over the continued harassment, intimidation, and persecution of leaders of the Turkish Medical Association (TMA) by the Turkish Government. He said the association was subjected to oppression for speaking up on issues that concern public health and the well-being of the people, and for offering healthcare to injured victims of conflicts.
He asserted that the attempts to dismiss and imprison leaders of TMA and outlaw it were clear assaults on their fundamental human rights, particularly their freedom of expression and right to associate, as well as assaults on their professional autonomy, clinical independence, and professional self-regulation.
According to him, “If left unchecked, the assaults and repressive efforts of the government will have grave implications for healthcare delivery in Turkey with great harm to patients, erosion of medical professionalism and societal trust, as well as compromise of the patient-physician relationship”.
While therefore urging the Turkish government to beat retreat from its current adversarial approach and embrace a collaborative, constructive, and harmonious strategy, Dr. Enabulele stated that what should be of common interest are “improved health care delivery and health outcomes, and improved medical professionalism based on ethical values.
Commending the Turkish Medical Association and its leaders for their stoic resolve and struggles against the draconian and retrogressive policy and legal prescriptions, the WMA President relayed some of his leadership experiences in repelling such oppressive and retrogressive tendencies of state agents and assured them of the WMA’s sustained and robust solidarity.
The court hearing later took place inside one of the Ankara courtrooms but was later adjourned to November 10, 2023.
Enabulele was later conferred with an award after leading a panel of discussion on self-regulation of medical professional organisations, organised by the Turkish Medical Association, (TMA), at the TMA secretariat in Ankara, Turkey. Before leaving Turkey, the WMA President shall visit Adana and Hatay cities devastated by earthquakes that occurred earlier in the year.
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