Brain Tumor Support Group of Turkey, held their annual board meeting on the 5th of January at The Plaza Hotel in Istanbul. Meeting was attended by the representatives and volunteers across the country.
Attendees discussed the problems of brain tumour patients in Turkey and expressed the concerns on the lack of a formal body to defend the rights of patients and their families on various platforms.
Members who attended the meeting, unanimously decided to setup a formal body under the name Brain Tumor Patients and Caregivers’ Association of Turkey.
‘‘We have come a long way in informing and supporting brain tumour patients in Turkey since we started working in 2009. Until now, we have focused on educating patient and caregivers, worked on ensuring solidarity among them. It is indeed a necessity to represent and defend patient rights where all the parties involved in treatment process, including pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, medical professionals and government have bodies to protect and defend their rights. Until now, brain tumour patients were fighting with the disease on one side and try to defend their rights individually on the other side. We need to support patients and caregivers and get them involved in decision and policy making processes and help them in their struggle with the system as well as their fight with the disease” says the founder and manager Nihat Karaoglu who spoke on behalf of Brain Tumor Support Group.
Brain Tumor Support Group of Turkey, which currently has more than 700 members is the first and largest patient support group in Turkey. Members of the group consists of brain tumor patients, caretakers and their families and friends but also receives support from various professionals who play part in treatment process. Group also runs the website beyintumoru.org which receives more than 10,000 visitors per month, dedicated to educating and informing brain tumour patients, caregivers and the general public.
Karaoglu states “It is my hope that this meeting will be a beginning” and invites volunteers and philanthropists to contribute their efforts..