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Turks love their doctors more than any other nation in world - OECD survey

In a health survey published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Turks top charts with their visits to the doctor.

Nevertheless, Turkey still lags behind compared to other countries in terms of GDP, health status and mammography check ups. Turks love visiting their doctors more than any other nation in the world, a report published last week by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) revealed. The report titled „Health at a Glance 2007” compared health systems and their performance, using a core set of indicators including health status, health care resources and utilization, health financing and expenditure, and treatment quality.

The data indicates that in the last 15 years Turkey has the highest rise in doctor consultations, among the OECD member countries. Turkey experienced a growth of 7% while the average increase in the OECD countries is 0.7%. This increase according the report is a result of the rapid rate of increase in physician density, public expenditure on health care and improved access to health care for patients on low incomes under the Green Card system.

Established by the Turkish Health Ministry, the Green Card system provides free health care to low-income individuals. Despite the better access to health care, however, Turkey has room for improvement as its low GDP indicates lower standard of health care. Turkey, along with Mexico has the lowest GDP per capita at 26% and 35% respectively. There is also a close connection between the health status and the distribution of income across the population according to the report.

The countries with the highest income inequalities are Mexico and Turkey, followed by Poland and the United States. The number of MRI units and CT scanners per capita is the lowest in Mexico, Hungary and Turkey. The findings revealed that Turkish women, along with Mexican and British, get the least mammography scans, used to diagnose breast cancer.

AIDS cases increase
Turkey has seen a dramatic increase of AIDS cases in the last years. In 2000 the number of AIDS incidences was 0.7 per million, while in 2005 it rose to 5 per million, the OECD reported. The country still remained below the OECD average of 18.8 per million. The United States ranked the highest with 137 incidences per million.

Youngest population in world
Turkey also ranked among the countries with the "youngest" populations, while the proportion of the population that is 65 years or older has risen in all OECD countries and is expected to continue to do so in the coming decades. (turkishdailynews)