Turkey has increased the number of health facilities and policies aimed at providing better quality, accessible services as part of a Health Transformation Program launched in 2003. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, health investments further accelerated and new hospitals opened in many provinces and districts last year.
In 2020, a total of 17 large hospitals were built in nine provinces to provide uninterrupted health services. In this process, all medical facilities, especially the city hospitals, which stand out with their intensive care and bed capacities, played an active role in the country’s relatively successful struggle against COVID-19. Also last year, Lefkoşa Emergency Hospital with 100 beds and six operating rooms, built by the Health Ministry in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), was put into service during the fight against the pandemic.
The first new hospital opened last year was in the southern province of Mersin. Mersin University Oncology Hospital, built on 14,500 square meters (over 156,000 square feet) in Turkey’s Mediterranean region, opened on March 6, 2020, with a capacity of 150 beds. The Okmeydanı Training and Research Hospital in Turkey’s metropolitan province of Istanbul was rebuilt to be earthquake resistant and named after Dr. Cemil Taşçıoğlu, who died from complications related to COVID-19. Some 385 seismic insulators used in the construction of the hospital which began to receive patients on March 30, 2020, have the ability to absorb about 90% of the load in case of an earthquake so the hospital can still provide uninterrupted care in the event of a disaster.