‘Grand city hospitals’ project of Turkey’s government stands as a major ‘commercial investment’

BİRGÜN DAİLY 04.02.2017 11:53
‘Grand city hospitals’ project of Turkey’s government stands as a major ‘commercial investment’
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‘Grand city hospitals project’ was drafted by AKP during the earlier years of its administration. The first hospital designed and constructed under this project has been opened in Mersin recently in a ceremony attended by President Erdoğan and Prime Minister Yıldırım.

The project, which is a public-private joint venture, aims for construction of 15 ‘city hospitals’ with grand capacities in terms of number of health professionals serving and number of patients that could receive treatment. The 15 hospitals are planned to serve for the needs of over 30 provinces, the officials assert.

While government officials from AKP have been priding over the project by defining it as ‘not only hospitals but structures standing as a means for enhanced health tourism that would draw patients especially from the Middle East and Turkic countries,’ critics ponder over the lack of transparency in its financial operations and the bid with the private partner of the project, Dia Holding.

In a recent article, columnist of Cumhuriyet newspaper of Turkey Çiğdem Toker draws attention to the fact that this is a ‘treasury guaranteed bond,’ which means the State would have to provide a ‘guaranteed flow of financial sources’ to the partner private company. Pointing out that this boils down to ‘the number of patients’ treated at these hospitals, Toker underlines that details about the terms of the contract with the partner firm is diligently kept secret by the officials.

While all public-private joint ventures are generally considered as risky, application of this PPP model (Public-Private Partnership) to health fields has been a debated topic of the past few decades. And, the ‘grand city hospitals project’ of Turkey’s ruling party AKP appears to be ‘too commercialized for a health institution’ as even the officials themselves have asserted on these ‘new structures’ as ‘hotel like venues.’ On top of this first impression, the government’s secrecy about the terms of its partnership with Dia Holding causes critics and experts to have even further speculations.

Front-page article of BirGün on 4 February 2017, Saturday


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