Healthcare in Syria Before and During the Crisis
Syria is experiencing a protracted political and socioeconomic crisis that resulted in a severe deterioration of living conditions which has also significantly eroded the health system. GHEF President Tayeb Al-Hafez, GHEF Board of Trustees member, Khaldoun Dia-Eddine and GHEF partners Dr. Mazen Kherallah, Dr. Jamil Ghyath, and Zaher Sahloul discuss Syria’s health equity crisis in the following case study article:
Citation: Kherallah M, Al-Hafez T., Sahloul Z., Eddine KD, Jamil G., “Healthcare in Syria before and during the crisis.” Avicenna J Med 2012; 2:51-3.
Health indicators improved considerably in the Syrian Arab Republic over the past three decades according to data from the Syrian Ministry of Health. Despite such low public investment access to health services increased dramatically since the 1980s, with rural populations achieving better equity than before. 
Even with the apparent improved capacity of the health system, a number of challenges prevail which need to be addressed to reduce inequities in access to health care and to improve the quality of care; these include, addressing validity of the data, overall inequity, lack of transparency, inadequate utilization of capacity, inadequate coordination between providers of health services, uneven distribution of human resources, high turnover of skilled staff and leadership, inadequate number of qualified nurses and allied health professionals. More recently there has been an uncontrolled and largely unregulated expansion of private providers, resulting in uneven distribution of health and medical services among geographical regions. Standardized care and quality assurance and accreditation are major issues that need to be addressed.
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