Report: "Turkey's healthcare system is ready for possible crises
Turkey has a firm political commitment to crisis preparedness and a substantial capacity for responding to national and international disasters, according to a new report by the Health Ministry and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, supported by the European Commission Directorate General for Health and Consumer Policy (DG Sanco). The report, "Assessment of Health Systems' Crisis Preparedness – Turkey," was released yesterday in Ankara, with the participation of Health Minister Recep Akdag. A multidisciplinary team of national and international experts carried out the assessment last fall in cooperation with Turkish government officials. "Health systems are central to the overall cycle of emergency preparedness, risk prevention and mitigation, response and recovery," WHO Regional Director for Europe Zsuzsanna Jakab said. "The many recent disasters worldwide emphasize the importance of giving high priority to the preparedness of health systems for crises," said Akdag. "In light of the bitter lessons learnt and experience gained from the 1999 Marmara earthquake and its aftermath, Turkey has taken significant steps towards preparing its health system for disaster situations." Ambassador Marc Pierini, head of the European Union Delegation to Turkey, also said of the report: "As new and re-emerging health security threats arise and are increasingly linked to sectors other than health alone, the European Union strategic framework on health security connects with many policies, all contributing to the prevention of, preparedness for, and response to health security threats."