History

The history of Public Health, has been started with Ankara University Institute of Child Health Scientific and Social Research founded in 1954. Prof. Dr. İhsan Doğramacı, the founder of the Institute, emphasized protective community health services on child health among Institute’s studies. The studies were started to be conducted at Mother-Child Health (MCH) Center which was established at a small building rented at Hacettepe district. Along with the establishment of Hacettepe Child Hospital under Ankara University in 1957, primary health care services provided within MCH, were started to given at slum areas near the hospital as well. Several graduate schools were opened under Hacettepe Graduate School of Health Sciences within the structure of the Institute in 1961.

During those years, alongside eliminating the negativity evoked by the inadequate number of doctors in the country, it was also aimed to train general practitioners who will work in rural areas. It was suggested to establish new medical schools rather than admitting more students to the existing medical schools within the State Planning Organization’s reports. Meanwhile, a new idea was brought forward to establish a new medical school in Hacettepe affiliated to Ankara University that prioritizes community medicine training. In this respect, Hacettepe Graduate School of Health Sciences was transformed into Hacettepe Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences under Ankara University in 1963.

Hacettepe Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences were comprised of three institutes namely Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Institute of Clinical Sciences and Institute of Community Medicine. The scientific solidarity between those three institutes within the Faculty of Medicine proceeded intensely. While the academicians at Institute of Clinical Sciences were giving scientific counselling on issues that meets the needs of Institute of Community Medicine, lectures of Institute of Community Medicines were included in the Institute of Clinical Sciences’ curriculum. By means of Institute of Community Medic ine being one of the three institutes at Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine gained importance within the Faculty of Medicine.

The first director of Institute of Community Medicine was Prof. Dr. Doğan Karan (1963-1966). In the year 1966, Prof. Dr. Nusret Fişek was selected as the director of Ankara University Hacettepe Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. When Hacettepe University was established in 1967, Institute of Community Medicine was remained as a unit under university, besides, “Department of Community Medicine” was opened within the Faculty of Medicine. Prof. Dr. Nusret Fişek contributed to the development of Institute of Community Medicine and Department of Community Medicine (later on it was referred to as Department of Public Health). While, in 1966, which is the establishment date of Institute of Public Health, there was only one academician as an academic staff, this was increased to 75 personnel including academic staff and assistants within 15 years.
 
At the Institute of Community Medicine, it was aimed that, apart from the theoretical training at the faculty, students should complete practice training in the field as well. In order to reach this aim, studies on development of a service provision model in the field was conducted. Within this scope, Institute of Community Medicine carried out mother-child health and delivery services in collaboration with Department of Pediatrics and Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology between the years 1966 and 1978 at Hacettepe and Gülveren districts. In accordance with the protocols signed with former Ministry of Health and Social Aid, in 1965 Etimesgut and in 1975 Çubuk Health Training and Research Areas were set up. Within this scope an academician who is a university staff and whose managerial status has been approved by the Ministry of Health undertook the mission of being head of health group and conducted training and research studies in the field with academicians, assistants and students.  At the above-mentioned regions, besides providing health care services to people and training of students in the community who are from other health related faculties and graduate schools of Ministry of Health and Hacettepe University, several researches on fundamental health problems of the country were carried out in collaboration with national and international institutions.   

Together with a large number of institutions within universities, Institute of Community Medicine was also closed with the law of Council of Higher Education (1981). Name of the Department of Community Medicine under Medical Faculty was changed as “Department of Public Health”, academic staff and especially research assistant staff were determined once again. After closure of the Institute of Community Medicine in 1981, undergraduate lessons and post graduate and doctoral programmes were carried on by the Medical Faculty Department of Public Health.

Institute of Public Health was established in 1992 by Law no 2809 (dated 03/07/192 and Official Gazette No. 18003) which made an amendment to Law No 2547. One year after the establishment of Institute of Public Health, with Council of Higher Education Executive Committee’s decision (dated 18/05/1993 and No. 93.19.794), at the Institute of Health Sciences Committee, it was decided that the Institute of Public Health be represented as a department.  Within this framework, nine postgraduate and 5 doctoral programmes on public health were conducted by the Medical Faculty Department of Public Health under the Institute of Health Sciences.

Upon the decision and offer of Executive Board of Institute of Public Health, approval of Hacettepe University Senate dated 12/04/2012, offer regarding opening five departments under Institute of Public Health namely Public Health, Epidemiology, Health Training and Improvement of Health, Occupational Health and Occupational Diseases and Environmental Health and Medicine was reviewed and approved at Higher Education Executive Committee meeting dated 23/05/2012.  In the meantime, until 2014 graduate training programmes were conducted under Institute of Health Sciences. Afterwards, upon the decision and offer of Executive Board of Institute of Public Health and approval of Hacettepe University Senate, transferring graduate programmes carried out under Institute of Health Sciences to Institute of Public Health was offered and that offer was approved at the Higher Education General Assembly dated 25/09/2014.  As of this date, the responsibility of conducting those programmes were handed over to Institute of Public Health. The offer of opening Health Administration in Disasters Department under the Institute of Public Health and transfer of Graduate Programme on Health Administration in Disasters to the Department was negotiated and approved at Higher Education Executive Committee dated 15/04/2015 and since therefore graduate programmes were started to be conducted under six departments at Institute of Public Health.  
   
Upon Hacettepe University Senate’s offer and Council of Higher Education’s decision, dating from 15/07/2016, graduate programmes conducted independently under six departments of Institute of Public Health and students registered to those programmes were transferred to Institute of Health Sciences again. Graduate training programmes consist of above-mentioned nine postgraduate and 5 doctoral programmes, were started to be conducted by the Medical Faculty Department of Public Health under the Institute of Health Sciences once more.

Academic staff of Institute of Public Health are still conducting postgraduate trainings within aforesaid graduate training programmes. In addition, the Institute, carries out scientific researches and projects in order to improve the health status of public, conducts activities those serve as a model for evidence based public health implementation, gives counselling services to and collaborates with national and international institutions and individuals, conducts in-service training programmes so as to increase the quality and quantity of people who provide services in the field of public health and carries out every kind of scientific study on account of development of public health science.   

webmaster: Dr. Hande Konşuk Ünlü
Hacettepe University Institute of Public Health 06100 Sıhhiye / ANKARA - TURKEY
Last Update: 15.10.2019