UPDATE – Erdogan: Turkey to produce local healthcare equipments

UPDATES WITH MORE REMARKS FROM ERDOGAN

By Fatih Hafiz Mehmet

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday domestic production in the health sector is as important as in the defense sector.

"Turkey needs a rapid nationalization, localization in the health sector," said Erdogan, speaking at the academic year opening ceremony of the University of Health Sciences in Ankara.

Erdogan said Turkey should produce its own tomography, ultrasonography and MRI machines, adding that the country has the human capital for this.

"Now we invite [leading] companies from the international community for joint production in our country and there are positive approaches," Erdogan said.

He said localization of the health sector was as "important and critical" as that of the defense sector.

Erdogan also said that Turkey's city hospitals will help the nation leap forward in health tourism.

He said six city hospitals were opened in six provinces so far and another "huge" one is set to be opened in Bilkent, Ankara in December.

Justice and Development (AK) Party has put great importance on the health sector in 16 years rule of it, Erdogan said.

The government made the most investment in health sector and yielded the best results, he added.

Erdogan also said the number of ambulances rose from 618 to 5,000, while 112 emergency health stations increased to 2,668 from 481 during the rule of AK Party.

He added that bed capacities of hospitals and total health sector workers has more than doubled and a total of 231,000 doctors have been staffed over the last 16 years.

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