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Humanitarian healthcare: treating Syrian patients in Israeli hospitals

Savannah Spivey Young (Department of Human Development and Family Science, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)
Denise C. Lewis (Department of Human Development and Family Science, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)
Assaf Oshri (Department of Human Development and Family Science, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)
Peter Gilbey (Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Ziv Medical Center, Safed, Israel)
Arie Eisenman (Medical Emergency Department at Galilee Medical Center, Nahariya, Israel)
Richard J. Schuster (Department of Public Health: Global Health Leadership and Administration, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel)
Desiree M. Seponski (Department of Human Development and Family Science, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare

ISSN: 2056-4902

Article publication date: 8 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the findings on interpersonal relational processes of Israeli healthcare providers (HCPs) and Syrian patients and caregivers using data collected in two Israeli hospitals.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a parallel mixed-methods design, data were integrated from observations, interviews, and surveys. In total, 20 HCPs and three Syrian patient caregivers provided interview data. Quantitative data were collected from 204 HCPs using surveys. The qualitative component included the phenomenological coding. The quantitative analysis included factor analysis procedures. Throughout parallel analysis, data were mixed dialogically to form warranted assertions.

Findings

Results from mixed analyses support a three-factor model representing the HCPs’ experiences treating Syrian patients. Factors were predicted by religious and occupational differences and included professional baseline, humanitarian insecurity, and medical humanitarianism.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations of this study included issues of power, language differences, and a small Syrian caregiver sample.

Practical implications

As the fearful, injured, and sick continue to flee violence and cross geopolitical borders, the healthcare community will be called upon to treat migrants and refugees according to ethical healthcare principles.

Originality/value

The value of this research is in its critical examination of the HCPs’ interactions with patients, a relationship that propels humanitarian healthcare in the face of a global migrant crisis.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the countless people who made this research possible, particularly the research sites in Israel and those who contributed to this research.

Citation

Young, S.S., Lewis, D.C., Oshri, A., Gilbey, P., Eisenman, A., Schuster, R.J. and Seponski, D.M. (2017), "Humanitarian healthcare: treating Syrian patients in Israeli hospitals", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 95-109. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-10-2016-0018

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited