Access to health care is one of the major concerns of the over 3.4 million refugees in Turkey. While emergency hospital treatment in Turkey is free of charge, many Syrian and refugees are reluctant or unable to use these facilities due to language and cultural barriers. Many local health facilities are also struggling to cope with the influx of refugee patients. The EU and other donors are supporting the Turkish administration in their efforts to address this issue by setting up migrant health centres all over the country.
Among the refugees, some Syrian health professionals have also been able to find employment in these health centres; this is much appreciated by the refugees who feel more comfortable being treated by Arab speaking doctors and nurses. The EU has also promoted the employment of Syrian medical personnel through a training program carried by the World Health Organization (WHO). This training allows Syrian doctors and other medical professionals amongst the refugee and migrant population to understand the rules and regulations governing the medical profession in Turkey and allows them to practice medicine inside the Turkish health facilities.
With a grant of €12 million from the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey, WHO has already trained over one thousand Syrian doctors, nurses and translators, providing a vital service to the refugee community.
Video by WHO