This year, ‘14 March-Medicine Day’ was celebrated with an online event due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Minister of Health Dr Fahrettin Koca addressed the health workers via their video messages for the event.
In his video message, President Erdoğan underscored that Turkey is determined to succeed in its fight against the pandemic that has deeply shaken the entire world, and said: “Without any complacency, we will maintain this fight by obeying the hygiene, mask and distancing rules which we have symbolized as TAMAM (meaning: “Okay”). I call on our citizens to follow the measures and support our healthcare workers.”
Congratulating this important day for health workers, President Erdoğan said: “On behalf of my country and nation, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all our healthcare workers for their efforts and sacrifices.”
Drawing attention to the coronavirus pandemic, President Erdoğan stressed that it continues to be a global threat, claiming 2.65 million people’s lives across the world.
As regards to Turkey’s ongoing vaccination programme, President Erdoğan noted: “We are one of the leading countries in vaccination, which we have launched starting with the riskiest groups.”
Underscoring that Turkey is determined to succeed in its fight against the pandemic that has deeply shaken the entire world, President Erdoğan said: “Without any complacency, we will maintain this fight by obeying the hygiene, mask and distancing rules which we have symbolized as TAMAM (translation: Okay). I call on our citizens to follow the measures and support our healthcare workers.
“International Year of Health and Care Workers"
During his address Minister Koca highlighted that “We did not only choose a profession. We have choses to dedicate our lives to save lives, protect and heal people.”
Upon the initiative of the Ministry of Health of Turkey, WHO and its Member States agreed to designate 2021 as the “International Year of Health and Care Workers”. Recalling that, Minister Koca added “We cannot thank and show our gratitude enough to the proud members of our health and medicine family. We are deeply grieving for our colleagues who lost theirs to save others’ lives by working day and night. Therefore, this year we are honouring the Medicine Day bitterly and dedicate the whole week to health workers who have the pride and privilege to serve to humanity.
“Being a health worker, particularly being a medical doctor, is a privilege”
Thanking President Erdoğan on behalf of health professionals for his video message, Minister Koca stated that “Our duty is to alleviate the pain, to cure the sick and protect the healthy. Everyone, especially these days, have recognized what a privilege to be a health worker. How distinguished their contribution to our lives and well-being. As much as these duties are privilege for us, they are also significant responsibility.”
“Health workers-one of the most affected by the impact of the pandemic-
Minster Koca underlined that the health workers have been among the most affected groups by the impact of the pandemic and added that “all people, except for the health workers, are requested to protect themselves by distancing physically, but health workers are on the frontline to protect them. Some are serving in emergency units, some are taking care of patients in the intensive care units. Others are working effortlessly to diagnose patients and some are working day and night in laboratories to develop vaccines. Now, we observe the tangible examples of their devotion to their jobs from day one of their education. I know we have more to do, more steps to take. What we need is a cadre of determined, equitable and competent professionals. What we need is a strong and qualified health army of people who love people, love their job. And as Turkey, we proudly have this distinguished health workforce. That is why, we are sure of our healthy future.”
During the programme, a short film produced by the Ministry of Health, Turkish Radio and Television Corporation and Ankara Music and Fine Arts University was shared with the online participants. A mini concert, presentations of winners of art and literature competitions were included in the programme.