Lebanon + 1 more

Access to healthcare for Syrian refugees. The impact of fragmented service provision on Syrians’ daily lives

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Abstract

This report aims to explore the fragmented organisation of healthcare services in Lebanon, for Syrian refugees. Although it is not an assessment of the Lebanese healthcare system, this report does nevertheless reflect on the challenges and underlying dynamics of the current Lebanese system, which are reproduced in the healthcare provision for Syrian refugees. In this sense, the report highlights the privatised, rather ad hoc, and irregular provision of healthcare in Lebanon, notably for Syrian refugees, which tends to take on a more curative rather than preventive approach, resulting in significant costs on the patients. Consequently, a great number of vulnerable Lebanese and non-Lebanese residing in Lebanon, notably Syrian refugees, are unable to access health services.

Introduction

Challenges inherent to the public healthcare system in Lebanon, notably for specialised care, prompt the country’s residents to resort to private health services, resulting in significant costs for the patients. Consequently, a great number of people with limited resources are denied access to health services. In this context – even prior to the Syrian refugee crisis – several NGOs, religious organisations, and charities have taken over certain realms of healthcare, leading to a highly fragmented provision of medical aid. Since 2011, over one million Syrian refugees have registered in Lebanon, adding more strain on Lebanon’s already fragile provision of healthcare. This report seeks to highlight the challenges faced by Syrian refugees in order to secure access to healthcare services. This is the third of a series of reports seeking to analyse the impact of Lebanese government policies on Syrian refugees’ daily lives.