Municipal Services Consultants (MSC), Change Management Expert, Turkey
Title: Turkish Health Reforms - A Transition for Efficient Healthcare System
Biography: Azhar Ali
Public health sector is important for political and social development of a country. Inhabitants of a certain country do expect that they get free, fair and reasonable health facilities by their governments. The health sector, especially when it is a part of Public Services, might become very complex. It not only involves a large number of people, but also a number of institutes. Therefore, any change planned for the health sector is never an easy option. There are more risks of failure than success. Turkish health system had been in apathy since 1940s till 2004. There had been numerous attempts to reform the aging and dinosaurs health system till 2002. Between 1960 and 2002, various new systems were introduced and abandoned. In 2002, the latest health reforms system was introduced, mainly to improve conditions and also to pave the way towards accession to the European Union. The new reforms can be considered as a comprehensive process of change management. During this process, the role of leadership and its commitment, budget availability, human resources availability and careful supervision of the process was necessary. The health reform aimed at achieving the following four targets: 1. Merging different social security institutes 2. Introduction of family medicine system 3. To transform hospitals into autonomous health facilities 4. To make the Ministry of Health an efficient monitoring authority The reforms in general have been quite successful. Merging of different social security institutes has been done successfully. The other 3 targets could not be achieved fully but work is in progress. The most important outcomes of these reforms include provision of almost free health care to all and increase in the income of medical professionals.