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International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 63, Issue 5, pp 601–608 | Cite as

Health and health care access for Syrian refugees living in İstanbul

  • Perihan Torun
  • Meltem Mücaz Karaaslan
  • Büşra Sandıklı
  • Ceyda Acar
  • Ellyn Shurtleff
  • Sophia Dhrolia
  • Bülent Herek
Original Article

Abstract

Objectives

The study was conducted to assess the health needs of urban refugees living in İstanbul.

Methods

A mixed methods approach was adopted to interview Syrian women from households, doctors, decision makers and NGO representatives. The data were collected between June and October 2015.

Results

The main challenges were the cost of living in İstanbul, increased rent and language barrier. Almost half (49.6%) of the interviewed women did not know about free health care rights for Syrians. In the last 30 days preceding the interview, 58.6% of the participants sought health care primarily through state hospitals, primary health care centres and pharmacies. The participants had difficulty in accessing health care due to the language barrier and a lack of knowledge of the Turkish health care system. Waiting time at hospitals and negative attitudes of health care staff reduced satisfaction in these services.

Conclusions

In relation to life in Turkey, the main issues for Syrian refugees were not directly related to health. They have been given the right to access health care, although had many difficulties in understanding and accessing services in a crowded city.

Keywords

Health needs assessment Refugee Syrian Turkey 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Snyya Taha for her contribution to organisation and implementation of the data collection and for reviewing this manuscript.

Funding

This work was supported by the Bezmialem Vakif University Scientific Research Projects Funding Scheme (6.2015/24).

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Ethical clearance for the study was obtained from the Ethics Committee of Bezmialem Vakif University, İstanbul.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

38_2018_1096_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (557 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 557 kb)

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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Perihan Torun
    • 1
  • Meltem Mücaz Karaaslan
    • 1
  • Büşra Sandıklı
    • 1
  • Ceyda Acar
    • 1
  • Ellyn Shurtleff
    • 2
  • Sophia Dhrolia
    • 2
  • Bülent Herek
    • 3
  1. 1.Bezmialem Vakif UniversityİstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.University of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  3. 3.Istanbul Public Health DirectorateİstanbulTurkey

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