Minister of Health
Mr. Recep AKDAĞ (born 8 May 1960; İspir, Erzurum), Turkish Physician, Academician and Politician
Mr. Akdağ completed his primary and secondary school education in Erzurum and he went to Ankara Atatürk High School in Ankara. He graduated from Erzurum Atatürk University, Faculty of Medicine and specialized in pediatrics at the same university. He worked in London on hematology for one year. He served as Deputy Medical Director, Head of Procurement Committee and Assistant Editor of the Medical Journal at Atatürk University Training and Research Hospital. He then served as the Deputy Director of the Biotechnology Application and Research Center. He lectured at the Department of Pediatrics of Atatürk University, Faculty of Medicine and was granted the title of full professor in 1999. He published more than 100 articles and papers mainly in pediatrics. One of his articles received the "Paper of the Year" Award from İstanbul Medical Chamber in 1996.
Professor Akdağ became a member of the Parliament from Erzurum at the 22nd, 23rd and 24th legislative terms. He served as Minister of Health at the 58th, 59th, 60th and 61st governments. His key focus being the "Health Transformation Program", he led major projects including the "Smoke-Free Air Zone" and "Obesity Prevention Program" with the objective of achieving "People-Centered Healthcare". Holding office from 18 November 2002 to 24 January 2013, longest period after Dr. Refik Saydam, Akdağ is the only minister who has ever been appointed the Minister of Health for four successive terms. The transformation and improvements in Turkey's health system during his tenure were very well received in Turkey and recognized internationally.
He was elected as a member of the executive committee of the Health Leadership Program at Harvard School of Public Health. He visits Boston every year to inform ministers of health and postgraduate students on the Health Transformation process in Turkey and to give a lecture on reform leadership. He is widely sought by many governments and international organizations including the World Health Organization and the World Bank to share his views and experiences on leadership, team building, governance and accountability, policy development, strategic planning and implementation, transforming health systems and building accessible and quality healthcare in various conferences, symposiums and special events.
After becoming a member of the Justice and Development Party Central Decision-Making and Management Committee, he was reelected to the Parliament from Erzurum in November 2015 elections.
Professor Akdağ was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Justice and Development Party on 25 November 2015 and then Minister of Health of the 65th government.