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Turkey trains Syrian doctors to run refugee health centres

Features | 2017-01-16 23:27:57
Turkey trains Syrian doctors to run refugee health centres
(Eqtsad)- Syrian doctors have started a-6-week training course in Turkey, in health centres allocated to train Syrian doctors on the Turkish health system in southern Turkish provinces “Hatai, Mersin and Urfa” where high numbers of Syrians live there. 

The training courses are part of the framework of the agreement or protocol signed between the Ministry of Health in the Syrian interim government and the Turkish Ministry of Health on a project to recruit Syrian doctors and nurses in health centres and clinics designated for Syrians in Turkey in order to integrate them with the Turkish health system, according to Dr Rafiq Khatib , Coordinator between the Syrian Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Health of Turkey.

In his exclusive interview to Eqtsad, Dr. Khatib detailed; “the project of employing Syrian doctors and nurses is being implemented at two phases, the first phase has been completed, and operating will begin in early April with the opening of health centres to treat Syrian patients and employ paediatricians, General Practitioners, internal Medicine specialists, family doctors, and Gynaecologists and obstetrics at these centres. 

These centres would follow the rules the Turkish health system, the aim is to reach to a rate of one family doctor or a general practitioner to each 4000 Syrians, to provide primary health care, reproductive health care vaccination for all Syrians who are under temporary protection.

Health centres ae going to be distributed in areas according to number of Syrians, as it is expected to approximately establish 60 health centres in the border city of Hatai, the city with highest rate of Syrians, according to Dr. Mohammad Mansour al-Atrash, director of the of the Syrian-Turkish relations Office., who added that each centre would have two Syrian doctors as well as nursing and administrative staff to serve Syrians and admit them under temporary protection card, then these centres will refer patients who require secondary treatment to hospitals or specialist clinics.

The second phase of the project is still under planning, which includes employing Syrian surgeons in Turkish hospitals, to treat patients referred from primary care centres allocated to Syrians, but the mechanism of work to adopt by those Syrian surgeons is still unclear and have many obstacles face it due to the nature of the surgeons’ work, Dr. Atrash added.

There are almost 1160 Syrian doctors of all medical specialties are included in the integration program, they had applied to the Ministry of Health in the Syrian interim government to enter the program and were interviewed by a committee of Turkish doctors in the Turkish Ministry of Health in addition to specific and careful examinations the scientific certificates, besides going through theoretical courses to learn the Turkish health system which is known of discipline and rigor.

In regard to salaries, Dr, Khatib detailed that salary of doctors who work in health centres will range between TRY7,000 and TRY8,000, while nurses and midwives would receive TRY 3,500. Journalist Aabou al-Haso, specialist of Syrians’ affairs in Turkey, expressed his good impression about the program saying: “ opening these centres which are run by Syrian doctors and medical health staff will provide jobs for many of health related jobs like doctors and nurses and help many of them to return to the practice their profession after many years of interruption, and many of them worked in areas so far from their specialty”. 

The journalist mentioned that finding jobs to medical staff and doctors in Turkey, might reduce their emigration abroad, besides the easiness in communication between patients and the Syrian physician without a language barrier, added to the different diagnostic approach between the Syrian and Turkish doctor.

“However, most important benefit of those health centres is that they would alleviate the overcrowding of most Turkish hospitals and health centres in areas of high numbers of Syrians, which had raised grumbling of a lot Turks who felt that Syrians had taken their rights in their Turkish hospitals and health centres.

Almost 3 million Syrians live in Turkey, most of them are subject to temporary protection system, who benefit of the health services provided by the Turkish government which entitles Syrians under temporary protection system to take advantage of free medical care in the Turkish governmental hospitals and get free medicine from pharmacies have contracts with them.

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