The Syrian Coalition organized a panel discussion on the challenges facing the health sector in the liberated areas in light of the continued targeting of health facilities by the Assad regime and its allies.
The panel discussion was organized in cooperation with the Syrian Interim Government and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Istanbul on Wednesday. The NDI is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that works with partners in developing countries to increase the effectiveness of democratic institutions.
The panel discussion was divided into two sessions. In the first session, the conferees discussed ways to improve the health sector and the reality of the situation regarding hospitals, health centers, field hospitals, physiotherapy centers, pharmacies, and medical equipment.
The session also included a discussion of the pharmaceutical industry, the problem of smuggled medicine, ways to control prices of medicine, shortages of essential medications, vaccination campaigns, as well as ways to impose oversight on the work of hospitals and organizations working in the health sector in the liberated areas.
Moreover, tabled for discussion in the first session were ways to provide qualified medical staff, primarily doctors, nurses, and pharmacists as well as ways to improve medical education.
The second session, which was dedicated to discussing the relationship between the government and medical organizations, focused on discussing the needs of the interim government and medical organizations operating in the liberated areas. The session stressed the need for greater coordination between the interim government and these organizations.
Secretary-General of the Syrian Coalition Abdel-Ilah Fahd suggested dedicating the panel discussion to Doctor Ali Darwish who was killed while he was helping victims of a chlorine attack by regime forces on the town of Lataminah in northern rural Hama last week. Conferees paid tribute to Darwish and all medical workers who lost their lives to help victims of the Assad regime’s war machine.
Mohamed Firas Jundi, Minister of Health in the Syrian interim government, said that the Assad regime and its allies systematically and deliberately target health facilities in the liberated areas. Jundi noted that other problems facing the medical sector in the liberated areas include the fact that a large number of medical organizations are operating irregularly, the lack of centers to train and qualify medical workers, shortages of specialized doctors, and the severe shortage of medicines.
Dr. Wajih Jumaa said that the provision of basic health services is crucial to enable the civilian population to stay in their homes, enable the interim government to claim legitimacy, and to help restore stability in the liberated areas.
The Coalition will also hold two more panel discussions as part of the “Formulation of Participatory Public Policies” project in the Turkish city of Gaziantep and in the areas liberated from ISIS as part of Operation Euphrates Shield. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)