Barriers to Healthcare Access and Utilization among Urban Syrian Refugees in Turkey


  • Elwyn Zhang Dartmouth College
  • Roger P. Worthington Mentor and Independent Researcher



Syria, Turkey, Syrian Refugee Crisis, Healthcare Access, Healthcare utilization, Urban Refugees


Turkey currently hosts 3.6 million registered Syrian refugees, most of which reside in urban centres. Urban refugees in Turkey face significant challenges in accessing the healthcare to which they are entitled under international and Turkish law. This literature review seeks to provide a holistic overview of the major barriers refugees face in accessing adequate healthcare. Language forms the single greatest obstacle despite efforts to provide services staffed by Arabic speakers. Poverty exacerbated by lack of employment, unhygienic living conditions, and the COVID-19 pandemic also play significant roles. Above all, hostile Turkish public sentiment towards refugees motivates restrictive government policies and discourages aid. Potential means by which this situation may be addressed include prompt address of the financial hardships brought on by COVID-19, permitting NGOs to evaluate the effectiveness of migrant health centres, and the resumption of refugee registration in key provinces.


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Author Biography

Roger P. Worthington, Mentor and Independent Researcher

Mentor and Research Supervisor

Dr. Roger P. Worthington works as an Independent researcher in London (UK). He has held appointments in the USA, UK and Australia and does consultancy work on health care ethics, education and policy. Ongoing strands of work focus on a) global health education policy and curricula, and b) decision-making for patients with advanced dementia.



How to Cite

Zhang, E., & Worthington, R. P. (2021). Barriers to Healthcare Access and Utilization among Urban Syrian Refugees in Turkey. Journal of Student Research, 10(2).



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