Practicing in exile: Syrian healthcare professionals working in informal outpatient clinics in Istanbul


Surmeli A., YASIN Y. , Umay Tolunay T., USER I. , Topsever P.

INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/imig.12906
  • Title of Journal : INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION
  • Keywords: barriers to access to healthcare, informal outpatient clinics, Istanbul, licensing, Syrian healthcare professionals, Syrian refugees, Turkey, BARRIERS, ACCESS, REFUGEES

Abstract

Turkey hosts the largest proportion of Syrian refugees worldwide. Although Syrian refugees enjoy similar rights to health as Turkish citizens, some barriers can limit access to healthcare in practice. The healthcare needs of the Syrian population led to the emergence of "informal" clinics operated by Syrian healthcare professionals whom the Ministry of Health does not authorize to practice in Turkey. This qualitative study explores the views of 22 healthcare professionals working in such clinics about health provision for Syrian refugees. Focus groups and in-depth interviews were transcribed and thematically coded. Language and cultural barriers, ill-effects of immigration, insecurity concerning living conditions and expected lawful contribution to health services emerged as themes. Participants suggested that formal authorization to practice in Turkey for the Syrian healthcare workforce would be a good step towards caring for the Syrian population in Turkey.