As world leaders meet this week in London to address the spiralling refugee crisis, stopping the wholesale destruction of Syria’s medical system should be squarely on the agenda. Since the beginning of the conflict, Physicians for Human Rights
has documented the systematic attacks by Syrian government forces on medical personnel, hospitals, and health facilities
More than 700 doctors, nurses, and other medical workers have been killed, and more than 240 facilities have been attacked, in what has become one of the worst assaults on healthcare the world has seen.
In the city of Aleppo, for example, 95% of doctors have either fled, been detained, or been killed
(pdf). With the loss of each doctor, thousands of Syrians are deprived of essential medical care. This trend cannot be allowed to continue.
Syria’s sophisticated medical system was once the envy of the Middle East – its doctors among the most educated and well trained in the region. Doctors remaining in Syria and countless others who have fled to bordering countries – where regulations prevent them from practising
– all relate the same concern to us: the erosion of their skills.