Turkish Medical Association (TMA) is the organized voice of physicians in Turkey, under the constitutional guarantee.
It’s a public association founded with law bearing the Number 6023 and %80 (83.000) of country’s physicians are members of TMA. Its main income source is membership fees and it doesn’t get any aid from government.
Turkish Medical Association has been founded for;
to protect and to improve and promote the public health conditions of Turkey and work for accessible, high quality health care at convenient prices for everyone,
to protect the morals of profession,
to speak and comment on any field of medical education,
to express benefits of medical profession in every platform,
to protect all kinds of rights of the profession and the members including materialistic, moral, etc.
Turkish Medical Association is working on the subjects such as providing professional discipline, investigating patient complaints and determining personal working fees.
Council of TMA has been founded in İstanbul in 1953 and then moved to Ankara in 1983.
Turkish Medical Association has a local organization in 65 provinces where the number of member physicians is more than 100. Physicians must apply to one of these local/regional chambers to become the member of TMA. The executive committees of the regional chambers are formed by 5-7 people who are elected by the members, proportionally to the number of the members. Also the Honorary Committees, the Inspection Committees and the delegates are the fragments of the local organizations.
The delegates from local committees who were elected in every two years, elect the Council of TMA which is composed of 11 people, the Honor Committee and Control Committee in the same time intervals. The main duty of Council is realizing organizational policies determined by grand congress, coordination of organizational studies, central publication, arranging courses and interviewing with other organizations about professional matters.
Local/regional chambers of physicians are directly in contact with the members. There are terminal units like “representativeness of hospital” in high physician density areas while the technical studies of the chambers are conducted by their own committees and branches. TMA carries out the “General Administrative Committee” (GYK) model for higher participation in the Council administration. There are two representative members from each regional chamber in GYK. General Administrative Committee gathers at least 4 times a year.
Although the membership of TMA is obligatory for physicians working in the private health institutions including private offices, still half of its members are physicians working in public health institutions, who are not obliged to be a member of TMA. Membership fees are proposed by Grand Congress.
Nine technical and 1 office personnel, 4 lawyers, 1 financial consultant and 1 press advisor are working professionally to carry out the regular official work of the TMA in its main location (GMK Bulvarı, Şehit Daniş Tunalıgil Sokak, No: 2, Kat: 4 Maltepe, Ankara-Turkey).
Volunteer work is produced in the commissions and the sub-disciplines of the TMA by the volunteer physicians including the administrative bodies of the TMA and its regional/provincial chambers.
Turkish Medical Association Council’s meetings are organized once a week, the Honorary Committee and Control Committee meets usually at least 2 times per year.
Turkish Medical Association is one of the founder members of Associations of Health Profession Group (with Turkish Dental Association, Turkish Pharmacists’ Association, and Turkish Veterinary Medical Association). Communication and cooperation with unions are some of the important activities of TMA.
At the international level, TMA is a member of World Medical Association (WMA), associate member of Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME), European Federation of Medical Specialist (FEMS), the Association for Medical Education in Europe.
What does TMA do for the profession?
Turkish Medical Association views the professional competence of physicians and their education/training in various ways. Turkish Medical Association investigates the medical education with respect to quality and quantity and expresses its opinion in every platform for many years by taking into consideration the importance of undergraduate medical education and tries to form public opinion on better medical education.
Turkish Medical Association prepares reports on graduate medical education and expresses its vision about specialty education.
Along with these studies, TMA thinks that its main responsibility is on the continuous education of the physicians. For this purpose, there are professional publications and courses arranged by local chambers. Also, TMA prepared and put into practice an “Evaluation Directive on Continuous Education Activities” for standardization of post-graduate education and in order to transform the continuous professional education into a personal right for the physicians.
Turkish Medical Association arranges continuous education programs in various topics, such as “Sports Medicine, Tourism and Health” courses.
“Occupational Medicine in Workplaces” course has special importance among the others. Only the physicians who completed these courses have the authorization to work as occupational physicians. 30.000 physicians have got the certificate up to this time from Turkish Medical Association. Unfortunately, certification program in this field has been transferred totally to some subcontractor companies by a legislations after 2010.
Additionally, since 1995/96, “Legal Medicine” and “Health Care Under Extraordinary Conditions” courses have been organized.
Since 1995, the activities of TMA aiming to increase the quality of specialty education are done in cooperation with medical specialty associations.
Turkish Medical Association is a direct member of Turkish Ministry of Health Central Ethics Committee, besides this, it expresses its attitude in the profession of medicine in all other commissions where it has been invited.
Additionally, TMA tries to form public opinion on medical profession, informs the National Assembly and the other institutions for legislation studies. It exchanges views with the institutions such as Turkish Ministry of Health, Social Security Institution which determine the health policies and in which many physicians work.
In cases of disagreement in negotiations, TMA realizes some activities.
Turkish Medical Association prepares reports about health care expenses and determines the minimum price schedule for private sector. Preparing that schedule is a responsibility by laws and many institutions, including TBMM (Turkish Grand National Assembly), use it. Turkish Medical Association also prepares minimum price schedules for private health practice and workplace medicine,
Turkish Medical Association, in addition to publications, educational activities, provides to its members identification cards, protocol notebooks, etc. Besides these, TMA membership gives the feeling and excitement of unity to physicians.
The local organizations control the application of Medical Deontology Regulations about professional practice and behaviors. Turkish Medical Association translates the World Medical Association’s circulars into Turkish and forms opinions on the subjects specific to Turkey.
What does TMA do for the community?
Turkish Medical Association uses mass communication tools, web sites for public information; answers the people’s questions through “doktorum.dr.tr” web site and web addresses containing “dr.tr” extension.
There is a press bureau at the central building of TMA. It provides information for press organizations and journalists.
Turkish Medical Association forms attitudes, prepares reports on public health issues and tries to raise public awareness on these matters. Radiation, environmental sensitivity, clean water resources, communicable diseases, critics about health reform proposals, smoking are some of the examples of these studies.
Previous “special” projects
In 1991-1992, TMA has made a common project with Canadian Public Health Association about public health care and provided support for multidisciplinary projects.
In 1995-1996-1997, it has performed a project about Legal Medicine that supported by EU.
Turkish Medical Association took part in Istanbul Protocol educations in 2000s.
Turkish Medical Association makes concentrated studies in various fields of human rights (such as right to life, prevention of torture, right to health). In 1997, due to these studies, PHR (Physicians for Human Rights) awarded TMA with human rights award. TMA also has got many awards in Turkey in this field.
In recent years TMA conducted many studies on the prevention of torture, forced feeding in hunger strikes, the health of prisoners.
Turkish Medical Assocation was nominated for 2014 Human Rights Prize of Parliamentary Assembly of European Commission (PACE).
Turkish Medical Association gives Dr. Behçet Aysan Poetry Awards, Nusret Fişek Public Health Awards and arranges STED (monthly Journal entitled Continuous Medical Education) Photography Contest every year.
Turkish Medical Association income sources
Membership fees, education activities and publications are the main income resources of TMA.