Intended for healthcare professionals


Medical students perform operations in Syria’s depleted health system

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 14 May 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3107
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

A doctor who recently returned from a trip to Syria has condemned the “destruction of the Syrian health system” and attacks on medical staff.

Zaher Sahloul, president of the Syrian American Medical Society and a doctor in Chicago, told a meeting convened to discuss attacks on health facilities in Syria about the fear under which many doctors work.

“There has been systematic destruction of the healthcare system. The situation is very bad, and doctors caught treating patients from the other side [the opposition] risk their life. Many physicians have been detained, tortured, or killed,” he told the meeting at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, which was webcast to journalists around the world (

His most recent visit was to the city of Aleppo, which …

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