Health status of Syrian refugees in the Netherlands

The Netherlands Institute for Social Research recently published a report about Syrian newcomers in the Netherlands. The report shows results of the first years of residency of Syrian refugees who arrived in the Netherlands between January 2014 till July 2016.
Results show that a large group of Syrians suffers from psychological problems, 41% can be classified as psychologically unhealthy. With increasing age, people get more long-term somatic illnesses and limitations and their perceived health declines. This deterioration in health during aging is stronger in Syrian newcomers than in the general population of the Netherlands. Due to their lower health status, the Syrians make more use of healthcare (general practitioner and specialists), than the general population of the Netherlands. They visit however less mental health facilities, which contradicts the high prevalence of psychological problems. Other research shows that underlying reasons for the low use of mental care could be unfamiliarity with mental healthcare, stigma and the fact that existing care does not always accommodate the condition of the newcomers.

These results show that healthcare providers in the Netherlands need to be prepared for the higher need of care of Syrian patients, which should be offered in a culturally sensitive manner. To enable guaranteed high-quality care adequate trained healthcare providers are needed. Only than Syrian newcomers will receive the necessary support and treatment.

Health[e]Foundation offers, via blended learning, the training program Refugee Care[e]Education to train and inform Dutch general practitioners and public health professionals. Click here to read more about the course.

Health[e]Foundation offers the course Health[e]Refugees for newcomers with a social or medical background. This course if free available in Dutch and English. The course aims to inform newcomers about common health problems among refugees and where to find the right support within the Dutch healthcare system. The report of the Netherlands Institute for Social Research concluded that few Syrians have paid work (12%) and relief dependency is very large (90%). Therefore, this latter course also promotes the reintegration as a healthcare worker. Click here to read more about the course and how to register for free.

Click here to access the full report of the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (in Dutch).