Introduction: Employment of Syrian health workers
Turkey's migrant health centres have employed refugees and provided them with emergency medical, preventative and primary health care services free of charge as a way to increase access to health services for all and reduce the capacity gap.
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In the statement below, the Turkish Ministry of Health outlines how it has continued to employ Syrian refugee health workers to assist in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
An inclusive response to COVID-19
COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on 11 March 2020. In Turkey, the response has been taking place at a national level, with all of society participating.
In this regard, every individual in the country (including some 5 million migrants) are being provided with equal access to diagnosis, treatment and protection services free of charge on a non-discriminatory basis.
Subsequently, Presidential Decrees have been issued to make the necessary arrangements.
The Syrian health professionals employed in Migrant Health Centres have continued to provide services in line with the practices adopted for Turkish national healthcare professionals.
Initially, they were included in the flexible working system based on general operating procedures and service needs. Provincial Directorates of Health provided training sessions on COVID-19 and the guides and algorithms prepared by the “Science Commission” were translated into Arabic to facilitate training. Audio-visual material was also provided to raise awareness and expand the knowledge of Syrians living in Turkey on the issue. Syrian health workers have also been included in contact tracing teams to ensure an effective system of contact tracing of Syrians under temporary protection.
Syrian health workers have been included in the response just like any other health professionals and thanks to their efforts, migrants are being provided with an improved access to more effective health services.
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