Smokers in Turkey to not receive free cancer treatment medicine

Smokers in Turkey to not receive free cancer treatment medicine

Turkey’s social security body will not fund cancer treatment medicines for patients diagnosed with lung cancer who have ever had a smoking habit, according to a new regulation that went into effect on Feb. 3.

The Social Security Institution’s (SGK) new regulation requires people with lung cancer to pay for their own treatment medicines if they have a smoking habit.

The regulation has drawn condemnation from legal bodies, health organizations and advocacy groups.

Ankara Bar Association head Hakan Canduran stated that they would take the regulation, which he said violates constitutionally and internationally-protected health rights, to court.

“The term ‘everyone’ is used in Article 56 of our constitution. This assures everyone the right to health. This term should be regarded by law in terms of non-discrimination and equality,” Canduran said.

“Smoking cigarettes, which is a personal preference, is being punished by the state [with the regulation],” he added.

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