Editor's note: This film is no longer available online.

A film by Alicia Arce

Good and affordable universal healthcare is still a dream for many countries, but Turkey seems to have made this dream a reality. 

There's nothing to stop us. To be frank, there's no accountability.
This is one of the main achievements of the Turkish health system. I can't say, 'This drug is very expensive, and the government won't let me give it to you.' That doesn't happen.

Professor Mustafa Yuksel

In just over a decade, Turkey's government has reformed its healthcare system, and with it the lives of the 76 million people in the country today.

Marmara University Hospital in Istanbul, one of the country's newest hospitals, has been at the forefront of these reforms.

The hospital is not only a local hub but also attracts patients from all over the country. 

We visit the hospital to see the achievements of the new health system, from pioneering operations to fast emergency care, and life-changing bariatric surgery as well as good paediatric care.

The reforms have brought universal access and greatly improved the care given to Turkey's children. 

In 2003, Turkey had the highest rate of child mortality in the developed world. Turkey's health reform implemented free hospital care for people under 18 and, by 2013, Turkey halved the number of deaths in children under five.

But all these improvements have in turn led to increased patient expectation and demand, and doctors often struggle to deal with the influx of patients.

Through the lives of the doctors and patients at the heart of this health transformation, we reveal some of the secrets and challenges of turning around a country's healthcare system.




Source: Al Jazeera