Syria faces a shortage of doctors

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The exodus of white coats abroad, a consequence of the economic slump that is raging in the country, and the difficulty in recruiting new graduates are threatening certain specialties with disappearance.

At short intervals in recent months, health actors in government Syria have warned of the deterioration of the medical sector: between 30% and 60% of white coats have left the country since the start of the conflict in 2011, according to estimates, and the exodus continues. Sounding the alarm, in May, the head of the doctors’ union around Damascus, Khaled Moussa, estimated that specialties were threatened with disappearance, such as anesthesia. Practitioners in oncology, vascular surgery or neurology have also become rare.

A shortage that is likely to increase in the territories controlled by the regime: because of the deterioration of living conditions linked to the serious economic crisis, doctors continue to leave, even to Yemen at war, according to Khaled Moussa. And students will continue their studies abroad, either to acquire a better specialization, or to escape compulsory military service.

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