Dr. Koç: Health service in mother tongue is determinant in diagnosis and treatment

Prof. Dr. Şemsettin Koç who stated that patients using their mother tongue explaining their complaints is crucial for the diagnosis and treatment of the diseases said many people who did not speak Turkish, did not go to the hospitals for this reason for a very long time in Turkey and their rights to health were violated.

Doctor Şemsettin Koç who draws attention to the grievances caused by the exclusion of public service in the mother tongue, which is a universal right, said that not using Kurdish in the field of health affected the right to health. Emphasizing that health service in mother tongue presents an integrated situation with the right to life and that demand for health service in mother tongue is an integral part of the right to health, said that the people who do not speak Turkish have been at disadvantage.

Koç, stating that language is one of the most important elements that affects health services and its accessibility, said that making the patient- physician relationship understandable for both parties will have a significant effect regarding the results of the health services. Koç reminding that sickness creates anxiety and fear for everyone, said that the most important element to overcome these fears is the people being able to express their complaints and feelings in a language which they know best.

Koç stating that the statements of the goverment regarding the ban on Kurdish being lifted does not reflect the truth, said a hospital in Turkey provides health care in 17 languages, and Kurdish is not one of them. Koç said: “For example, there are language cards in Elzaığ Medical Hospital in 17 laguages for those who don’t speak Turkish, Kurdish is not one of them even though Kurdish is the most widely spoken language in Elazığ. The hospital administration explained that this is done with the instruction of the Ministry of Health.”