Evaluation of health care services provided in political public meetings in Turkey: A forgotten detail in politics
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CitationCeyhan, M., Demir, G. G. ve Babur Güler, G. (2018). Evaluation of health care services provided in political public meetings in Turkey: A forgotten detail in politics. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 33(6), 607-613. https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1049023X18001048
Background: Political parties in Turkey execute political public meetings (PPMs) during their election campaign for members of the parliament (MoP). A great number of people attend these meetings. No guidelines exist regarding preparation and organization of health care services provided during these meetings. Furthermore, there is no study evaluating health care problems encountered in previous PPMs. Objective: Political parties arranged PPMs in 2015 during the election campaign for general election of MoP. The present study aimed to investigate the context of health care services, the distribution of assigned health staff, as well as the number and the symptoms of patients admitted in health care tents in these PPMs. Methods: Two general elections for MoP were done in Turkey on June 7, 2015 and November 1, 2015. Health care services were provided by the City Emergency Medical Services Department (CEMSD) in the cities. Demographic characteristics, symptoms, comorbid conditions, treatment, discharge, and hospital transfer of the patients were obtained from patient medical registration records. Information about the distribution and the number of the assigned staff was received from local CEMSDs. The impact of variables such as the number of attendees, heat index, humidity, and the day of the week on the number of patients and the patient presentation rate (PPR) were analyzed. Results: A total of 97 PPMs were analyzed. The number of total attendees was 5,265,450 people. The number of patients seeking medical help was 1,991. The PPR was 0.5 (0.23-0.91) patients per 1,000 attendees. Mean age of the patients was 40 (SD = 19) years old while 1,174 (58.9%) of the patients were female. A total of 1,579 patients were treated in the tents and returned to the PPM following treatment. Two-hundred and three patients were transferred to a hospital by ambulance. Transfer-to-hospital ratio (TTHR) was 0.05 (0.0-0.13) patients per 1,000 attendees. None of the patients suffered sudden cardiac death (SCD) or cardiac arrest. Medical conditions were the main cause for admission. The most common symptoms were dizziness, low blood pressure, fatigue, and hypertension, respectively. The most commonly used medical agents included pain killers and myorelaxants. The number of attendees, heat index, and weekend days were positively correlated with the number of the patients. Conclusion: The majority of medical conditions encountered in PPMs are easily treatable in health care tents settled in the meeting area. The number of attendees, heat index, and weekend days are factors associated with the number of patients.