A decision by the Turkish Ministry of Health to close a number of hospitals in the city of Afrin has led to the deterioration of the health situation in the region, amid resentment by many doctors, nurses and families.
At the beginning of this month, the Turkish Ministry of Health issued a decision to close "Qanbar”, "Jihan" and "Dersem" hospitals in the city of Afrin, in order to obtain licenses from the ministry.
Sheikho Muhammad (pseudonym), a resident of Afrin said that: "The decision has increased the suffering of the people amid the wave of high prices and the increase of unemployment rate, along with the influx of more IDPs to the region from the countryside of Idlib.”
Muhammad pointed out that the decision to stop the hospitals opened the door for private clinics owners to control the consulting fees, as "the consulting fees reach more than 5,000 SYP.”
The decision coincided with the announcement of the free al-Salam Hospital, which is affiliated to "Bahar Organization,” the cutout of the support from World Health Organization, as the organization's management informed its 65 staff to stop working in the hospital in February 15, according to the hospital supervisors.
The work has also been stopped at al-Mahmoudiya clinic (formerly the Kurdish Red Crescent), mobile clinics and the clinics center, which are also affiliated to "Bahar Organization,” for the same reasons.
However, Avrin Hospital (currently al-Shifa'), Manar and al-Hikma hospitals are still operating in Afrin.
A nurse at a hospital in Afrin, who refused to reveal her identity for security reasons, said that the decision to close the hospitals "will negatively affect the medical workers, including doctors, technicians and workers, as well as the residents, even if the decision is temporary.”
"The economic situation is really bad nowadays in Afrin, due to the lack of work opportunities.”
A doctor in a hospital that was included in the closure, said that, "The decision is restricting the doctors present in the city to force them to work according to the criteria of the Turkish Ministry of Health.”
Earlier, Turkey had prevented the works of a number of humanitarian and relief organizations in Afrin, on the pretext of the lack of licenses in Turkey, according to North-Press reporter.