Turkish Medical Association (TTB) 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 TTB. It’s main income source is membership fees and it doesn’t get any aid from government.
TTB has been founded for;
to protect and improve the public health conditions of Turkey and work for accessible, high quality health care at convenient prices for everyone,
to adequately protect the morals of profession,
to speak in every field of medical education,
to express benefits of medical profession in every platform,
and to protect the materialistic and spiritual rights of profession and members.
TTB is working on the subjects such as providing professional discipline, investigating patient complaints and determining personal working fees.
Central Council of TTB has been founded in İstanbul, 1953 then moved to Ankara on 1983.
TTB has a local organization in 64 provinces where the number of member physicians is more than 100. Physicians must apply to one of these local chambers to become the member of TTB. The administrative committees of these regional chambers are formed by 5-7 people who are elected by the members, proportionally to the number of the members. Also the Honor Committees, the Inspection Committees and the delegates are the fragments of the local organizations.
The delegates from local committees who were elected in every 2 years, elect the Central Council of TTB which is composed of 11 persons, the Honor Committee and Inspection Committee in the same time intervals. The main duty of Central 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 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. TTB carries out the “General Administrative Committee” (GYK) model for higher participation in central administration. There are two representatives from each regional chamber in GYK. This committee gathers at least 4 times each year.
Although the membership of TTB is obligatory for self-employed physicians, still half of its members are civil servants who are not obliged to be member of TTB. Membership fees are proposed by grand congress and approved by the Ministry of Health.
9 technical and 1 office personnel, 4 lawyers, 1 financial consultant and 1 press advisor are working in TTB Central Council office in GMK Bulvarı, Şehit Daniş Tunalıgil Sokak, No: 2, Kat: 4 Maltepe, Ankara. Beside this, all studies of the branches and the commissions are done by volunteer physicians.
Central Council’s meetings are organized once a week, the Honor Committee and Inspection Committee meets usually at least 2 times per year.
TTB is one of the founder members of Associations of Health Profession Group (with Turkish Dental Association, Turkish Pharmacists’ Association, Turkish Veterinary Medical Association). Communication and cooperation with unions are some of the important activities of TTB.
At the international level, TTB is the member of the forum that is comprised of World Medical Association, The Association for Medical Education in Europe and World Health Organization and participates in its meetings as an active member.
What does TTB do for profession?
TTB views the professional competence of physicians and their education in various ways. TTB 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.
TTB prepares reports on graduate medical education and expresses its vision about specialty education.
Along with these studies, TTB 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, TTB 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.
TTB 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. Since 2005, these courses are being arranged in cooperation with 17 universities which signed the protocol. Basic and advanced programs consist of distant learning and face-to face courses.
Additionally, since 1995-96, “Legal Medicine” and “Health Care Under Extraordinary Conditions” courses have been organized.
Since 1995, the activities of TTB aiming to increase the quality of specialty education are done in cooperation with medical specialty associations.
TTB 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, TTB 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, TTB realizes some activities.
TTB 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. TTB also determines the minimum price schedules for Workplace Medicine, Sports Medicine.
TTB, in addition to publications, educational activities, provides to its members identification cards, protocol notebooks, etc. Besides these, TTB 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. TTB translates the World Medical Association’s circulars into Turkish and forms opinions on the subjects specific to Turkey.
What does TTB do for Public?
TTB 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 TTB. It provides information for press organizations and journalists.
TTB 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.
In 1991-1992, TTB 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.
TTB 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, PHP (Physicians for Human Rights) awarded TTB with human rights award. TTB also has got many awards in Turkey in this field.
In recent years TTB conducted many studies on the prevention of torture, hunger strikes, the health of prisoners.
TTB gives Dr. Behçet Aysan Poetry Awards, Nusret Fişek Public Health Awards and arranges STED (montly journal on Continuing Medical Education) Photography Contest every year.
Membership fees, education activities and publications are the main income resources of TTB.