Turkish hospital stormed by angry relatives of patient

Turkish hospital stormed by angry relatives of patient
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Doctors and nurses in an emergency service had to lock themselves up in rooms to avoid fatal consequences as a mob stormed over the place.

The emergency service of a hospital in Turkey's southern city of Adana was raided on Sunday evening by an angry mob who terrorized the doctors and other employees by throwing insults and threats at them. The doctors had to lock themselves in a room in desperation and wait for the police to arrive as the aggressors vandalized the place, inflicting damage on parts of the building.

The co-chair of the Union of Health and Social Service Workers (SES) spoke to Seda Taskin of +Gerçek after the incident. Dr. M. Enis Akyüz expressed concern that none of the aggressors were detained.

He told Taskin that the relatives of a 19-year-old patient began to complain after the young man, victim of a traffic accident, was examined and the doctor wanted some tests to be carried out. As the dispute between the health workers and the patient's relatives turned into a brawl, first the doctors, then the nurses were forced to take refuge in rooms and lock themselves in to avoid aggression.

"The group went on to break windows, throw insults, and said that they would kill the doctor," Akyüz said. "The police did not intervene. They called for reinforcements."

He continued:

"The hospital was stormed by such a large group, our colleagues were subjected to such serious threats, and yet nobody was detained. Moreover, it now seems that they are even going to cover up the incident. While there is no security mechanism that protects our colleagues, they are further terrified that the aggressors will return if there are arrests."

Stressing that medical facilities were understaffed all across Turkey and this could easily lead to rising tensions and confrontations between health workers and patients, Akyuz said that the situation was exacerbated by a policy of impunity.

"There has been impunity in such cases for 20 years now. They say to people, 'Do whatever you wish to do. You can beat them up or swear at them if you like.' We are not able to work under such conditions any longer."

Hospital administration: "Storming of emergency service not true"

The hospital administration later released a statement saying that the incident was exaggerated on social media.

"There have been some regrettable acts, but it is not appropriate reflecting this as 'storming of the emergency service'. It is also not true that emergency services were halted because of the incident," the statement said.