The coronavirus outbreak started to turn into a major disaster worldwide. The pandemic which started in China spread to Europe and become unmanageable. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the health institutions of the countries are trying all kinds of steps  for precaution. The situation is not different also in Turkey. Under these difficult conditions, the people at most risk are those who are working in healthcare services.

Head of Turkish Medical Association (TMA) Family Medicine Branch Filiz Ünal said: “In Italy, 100 of 600 family physicians are infected with the epidemic and also 2 doctors lost their lives. When it is considered that only ten-day material had been handed out to the family physicians in Turkey, we may encounter the same or even more calamitous picture than Italy.
Ünal, who stated that there was an accumulation in front of the doors of the family physicians after the protective masks were tied to prescription, said: “People are right but they may get infected when they come to get a prescription for the mask.”


Lack of material in hospitals and not increasing the protective measures for healthcare staff against the coronavirus create risk to public health. There is also lack of material in family health centers, which is the first place where citizens prefer to apply.
Head of Turkish Medical Association (TMA) Family Medicine Branch chair Filiz Ünal, who spoke to BirGün about the issue, stated that there is a serious problem regarding insufficient equipment in primary health care institutions. Ünal said, “In Italy, 100 of 600 family physicians are infected with the epidemic and 2 physicians lost their lifes. If the material deficiency in Turkey continue like this, it is inevitable for us to encounter with a more serious picture than the situaton in Italy. Only ten-day mask were handed out to the family practice center I worked in, and there are no gloves and aprons.”


Stating that pregnant, elderly and patients with chronic diseases were followed up in primary health care institutions, Ünal continued as follows:
“We schedule appointments for pregnant women and women with babies early in the morning. And we try to organise that elderly and patients with chronic diseases come in a way that does not create density but it is not much possible. When a patient with symptoms such as coughing or high fever comes in, we have her/his examined in a separate room, but after that serious difficulties are happening in monitoring the patient and patient orientation.”
Underlining that new arrangements should be made about Family Health Centers, Ünal continued her words as follows:
“The way of work should be reorganised. Vaccination and preventive health services such as pregnant-baby follow-up between the hours of 08.00-12.00 and routine patient examination and control services between the hours of 13.00-15.00 should be given, 15.00-17.00 hours should be reserved for keeping daily reports, training activities, and cleaning activities. Personal protective equipment required by healthcare staff must be met quickly. The cleanliness of primary level should be ensured by provincial directorates of health.


Indicating that their greatest intensity is reasoned from patients with chronic diseases who come to get prescription for masks, Ünal concluded her words as follows:
“It was announced that the masks can not be taken without prescription and patients with chronic diseases began to rush into family health centers to get prescription. People are right but they may get infected when they come to get a prescription for the mask. The patients with reports should be given the mask directly from the pharmacy. In this way, patients are prevented from going from one institution to other.”
Stating that they frequently call those who enter the country from abroad, Ünal said: “We are calling the people who should be at home by applying quarantine for 14 days with suspicion of Coronavirus, covid-19. However, whomever we call, is either outside or at work… This situation itself poses a serious risk.”.
Translated by Gökçen Başak Doğan