Refugees, healthcare and crises: informal Syrian health workers in Lebanon
In Syria, seven years of conflict has been catastrophic. Thousands of qualified doctors and health workers have left since 2011. In neighbouring countries, informal employment among displaced Syrian health workers is broadly acknowledged. But the scale, scope and nature are poorly documented. This working paper details both the scale and the challenges Syrian healthcare workers face in Lebanon. It explores strategies Syrian health workers use to help cope with barriers such as formal labour market entry, the threat of deportation, ethical challenges in practice, and discrimination.
There is an urgent need to address legal barriers to registration to practise for Syrian healthcare workers. Key further research includes mapping health worker numbers, specialties and geographical distribution to support workforce planning, and research on current and potential training and development initiatives to further support Syrian health workers.