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90 pct of female healthcare workers in Turkey think they’re underpaid: report

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A total of 92.6 percent of female healthcare workers in Turkey have stated that their wages are not enough to meet their needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which appeared in the country a year ago, according to a report by the General Health Union (Genel Sağlık-İş), the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Saturday.

The report, based on a survey conducted on 545 female healthcare workers from different parts of Turkey for International Women’s Day marked on March 8, revealed that the majority of female healthcare workers in the country had been suffering from financial difficulties for the past year.

Some 77.5 percent of participants said they got into debt paying for their normal expenses in the last year, with 61.1 percent taking out consumer loans and nearly 30 percent amassing credit card debt.

While 23.2 percent of the female healthcare workers in Turkey have been infected with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, 22.2 percent have come into contact with previously infected individuals, the report further showed.

More than half of the survey’s participants said they felt fear and anxiety during the pandemic, and less than half stated that they felt unhappy, stressed, depressed and lonely.

Some 43.7 percent of the participants said the health institutions they worked in failed to provide them enough financial and psychological support during the pandemic; 15.8 percent said the institution made them feel lonely; and 9.5 percent said they were subjected to mobbing in their workplaces.

The report also revealed that 40.5 percent of female healthcare workers were subjected to verbal abuse during the pandemic, while 66.2 percent said they felt concerned about their future in the profession.

“Increased time pressure at their workplace [due to COVID-19] and work overload are serious problems faced by female healthcare workers [in Turkey]. Increasing the welfare of women is crucial not only for women but for the society as a whole,” Genel Sağlık-İş Chair Zekiye Bacaksız told Cumhuriyet, wishing all women in Turkey a happy International Women’s Day in advance.

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