The influx of Syrian refugees into Lebanon poses an immense burden on the health system. A survey of Syrian refugees and Lebanese host communities was conducted in early 2015 to characterize health-seeking behaviours and service access. A total of 1,376 refugee and 686 host community households were surveyed using cluster design with probability-proportional-to-size sampling. Access to health care and medication was worse among refugees as compared to the host community; the primary barrier to care in both groups was cost. Strengthening primary health services and educating communities about rational care-seeking and home treatment of mild illness may decrease heath costs and reduce the burden on the Lebanese health system. Health system reform towards universal health care for refugees and vulnerable Lebanese that is supported by the international community could help to ensure integration and provide less costly and more sustainable health services access for refugees.
- Health services
- Host community
- Humanitarian assistance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Political Science and International Relations