Abstract

Prior to the conflict, Syria’s health system was comparable with that of other middle-income countries; however, the prolonged conflict has led to significant destruction of the health infrastructure. The lack of security and the direct targeting of health workers and health facilities have led to an exodus of trained staff leaving junior health workers to work beyond their capabilities in increasingly difficult circumstances. This exodus together with the destruction of the health infrastructure has contributed to the increase in communicable and non-communicable diseases and the rising morbidity and mortality of the Syrian population. Strengthening the health system in the current and post-conflict phase requires the retention of the remaining health workers, incentives for health workers who have left to return as well as engagement with the expatriate Syrian and international medical communities.