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OECD Reviews of Health Care Quality: Turkey 2014

Raising Standards

image of OECD Reviews of Health Care Quality: Turkey 2014

Turkey underwent a very ambitious reform programme  in 2003, the so-called "Health Transformation Programme". Access to healthcare in Turkey has greatly increased with the attainment of Universal Health Coverage, as also demonstrated by improvement in health outcomes, most notably around maternal and child health and infectious diseases. However, despite these significant achievements, Turkey has a significant way to travel to deliver high-quality health services to its population. Governance of the health system is highly centralised and typified by directive control from the Ministry of Health, and information collected in different part of the system is not always fully exploited.

The OECD Review of Health Care Quality in Turkey recommends a number of changes to address these shortcomings. The key recommendations are that: i) Turkey needs to develop robust systems to standardise and monitor the quality of care, encourage continuous professional development and incorporate patient views; ii) some loosening of the governance structure would be welcome, to allow regions greater flexibility to assess and respond to local health needs and to continue to provide health workers with incentives for improve quality; iii) data on health sector activity and outcomes need to be made more available and more usable for individual patients and clinicians, while greater effort is needed to increase the robustness of Turkey’s information systems at national level and harmonise performance measures to OECD and other international comparators.

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Assessment and recommendations

Driven by clear vision and strong leadership, the first ten years of Turkey’s Health Transformation Programme have dramatically expanded access to health care. Accompanied by significant investment in the hospital sector, the establishment of a family physician system and payment reforms, the Health Transformation Programme (HTP) has delivered better access and a high level of activity in the health system. To build on its success, it is time for Turkey to shift the emphasis from encouraging high volume of care to delivering high-quality health services.

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