Evaluating the Provision of Health Services and Barriers to Treatment for Chronic Diseases among Syrian Refugees in Turkey: A Review of Literature and Stakeholder Interviews

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Jul 25;16(15):2660. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16152660.


Background: While Turkey hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees, the provision of health services for chronic disease among Syrian refugees in Turkey has been inadequate and understudied. This paper explores Turkish healthcare policies surrounding Syrian refugees' access to health services for chronic diseases.

Methods: We conducted a literature review and supplementary stakeholder interviews to evaluate the provision of chronic health services and the most common barriers to healthcare access among Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Results: Though access to treatment for displaced Syrians has improved throughout the past five years, five primary barriers persist: registration procedure regulations, navigation of a new health system, language barriers, fear of adverse treatment, and cost.

Conclusions: To drive improvements in healthcare for chronic diseases among Syrian refugees in Turkey, we recommend making registration procedures more accessible, developing more healthcare options in patients' native language, increasing human resources, and advocating for more research surrounding chronic health conditions among refugees.

Keywords: Barriers to Care; Chronic Disease; Global Health; Healthcare Access; Migrant Health; Refugee Health; Syrian Refugees; Turkey.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Communication Barriers
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Delivery of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Policy*
  • Health Services Accessibility / organization & administration*
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Refugees / statistics & numerical data*
  • Syria
  • Turkey