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Health Inequalities in Turkey

Prof. Dr. Kayıhan Pala

Health inequalities are avoidable health disparities that adversely affect people’s health and lead to premature death. Since health is one of the most basic innate human rights, these disparities need to be eliminated.

Health inequalities are directly related to the determinants of health and the health system. Individuals themselves are unlikely to directly control many of the determinants of health. The inequalities caused by the different components of the health system, especially the financing and organizational features, cannot be eliminated either by individuals. Reducing inequalities is possible, apart from the individual’s efforts, by the state’s implementation of egalitarian practices for the health system by making health services more accessible and inclusive, as well as for the determinants of health.

In this report, health inequalities in Turkey will be shown through some indicators (infant mortality rate, under-five mortality rate, life expectancy at birth, premature deaths, access to health services, ratio of sickbeds and intensive care beds to population, ratio of physicians and midwives/nurses to population) and policy proposals regarding the health system will be discussed in order to reduce inequalities.

(The report is available only in Turkish.)