Health professionals mark National Medicine Day

Thousands of health professionals on March 14 convened in several marches and events to mark National Medicine Day, also dubbed as National Doctors' Day, calling for improved working conditions and an end to violence in hospitals.

With President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan poised to address a gathering in Istanbul during an iftar dinner event organized on the occasion of the day, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca took to social media to both express his gratitude for healthcare workers and called on the public to "be mindful of the efforts made by them."

The Turkish Medical Association, an organization representing the country's physicians, orchestrated a large-scale event in Istanbul's Kadıköy district, echoing similar sentiments expressed in nationwide marches, with the paramount demand being the eradication of the violence against health professionals.

Concurrently, the capital Ankara hosted a run to mark the medical holiday over the weekend.

The western province of İzmir's prestigious medical faculties carried out ceremonies, with a group of health workers in the northern city of Samsun paying homage at the monument of the country's founding leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in the city square.

Amid the physical violence at the hospital that remains a vital problem in the country, 81 percent of Turkish doctors also disclosed encountering verbal abuse at least once, according to a comprehensive survey conducted last year.

The history of Türkiye's Doctors' Day dates back to 1827, when the Ottoman Sultan Mahmut II opened a health center in the Şehzadebaşı complex with the advice of the head physician of the empire. The center's establishment day, March 14, is considered Medicine Day in Türkiye.

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