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Experiences of Syrian refugees regarding healthcare access in Ankara

Aksu, Alexandra Zehra
This thesis attempts to provide a picture of the accessibility of healthcare services for Syrian migrants in Ankara along with the barriers to access they might be encountering when seeking healthcare. The framework that is used in this dissertation encompasses a wide array of barriers and groups them into economic and socio-cultural, cognitive and structural barriers. Since migration is a “human process”, the study is enriched through human experience, perception and engagement. Hence, to gain further insight into the experiences of refugees and to highlight their agency, semi structured interviews were conducted with twenty two Syrian refugees living in Ankara, and five hospital visits with refugees were conducted. The findings from the study indicated that while access to healthcare was deemed easy, the refugees regarded the lack or inadequacy of translation services, the language barrier, complicated referrals, doctors’ lack of communication, long procedures and waiting lines, number of tests and transportation as the most prominent challenges they face when seeking healthcare services in Ankara. Through accompanying refugees to hospital, digitalization, lack of information and lack of social networks also appeared to pose challenges when accessing healthcare.