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Syrian doctors risk arrest and deportation for treating fellow refugees in Lebanon and Jordan

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1552 (Published 23 March 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1552

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  1. Sophie Arie
  1. 1London

Syrian doctors who have fled the country’s civil war to Lebanon and Jordan are being prevented from treating fellow refugees despite their huge healthcare needs, because of laws protecting the livelihoods of local health professionals.

“Lebanon and Jordan are not allowing Syrian doctors to practise, even to treat Syrians,” said Redwan El Khayat, a UK based Syrian psychiatrist and member of the Paris based Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organizations.

Four years after the Syrian conflict began 3.8 million Syrian refugees are now living in Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey in what the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has described as the biggest humanitarian crisis since the second world war. Their healthcare needs are huge, most cannot afford the cost of local health services, and aid agencies are struggling to care for them. …

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