Syrian doctor Nazeer Al-Khatib/Getty Images

Refugee Doctors for Refugee Health

One of the biggest challenges for refugees anywhere is finding quality medical care. To address this need, and to help reduce the burden that refugees place on host countries' health systems, efforts must be made to retrain and integrate refugee doctors into the medical profession in their new homes.

TORONTO – Syrian refugees are often portrayed as an unwelcome drain on the communities to which they relocate, especially with regard to health care. But, for those escaping Syria’s civil war, ignorance of their plight is overshadowed only by the reality of their needs – and the diversity of their expertise. Although refugees do bring with them extensive health-care issues, they also bring years of experience in the medical profession that, if put to proper use, could be a boon to the communities that receive them, not to mention for other refugees.

One of the biggest challenges for refugees anywhere is finding a doctor. In many host countries, inadequate treatment is the result of xenophobia, language barriers, or insufficient supply of medical staff. This is especially true for Syrians, who are scattered across the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and North America.

But many Syrian refugees are also highly educated. As they settle in places far from the hospitals and clinics in which they once practiced, Syria’s doctors simply want to get back to work. Isn’t it time that they did?

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