Syrian refugees in Jordan struggle after gov’t cuts medical benefits

Global Business

Syrian refugees in Jordan are facing difficulties following a Dec. 2014 decision by the Jordanian government to cut off free medical aid to refugees. There are currently 1.4 million Syrian refugees in Jordan and their medical care had been subsidized for the past three years.  CCTV’s Stephanie Freid reported the story from Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan.

Syrian refugees in Jordan struggle after gov’t cuts medical benefits

Syrian refugees in Jordan struggle after gov’t cuts medical benefits

Syrian refugees in Jordan are facing difficulties following a Dec. 2014 decision by the Jordanian government to cut off free medical aid to refugees. There are currently 1.4 million Syrian refugees in Jordan and their medical care had been subsidized for the past three years. CCTV’s Stephanie Freid reported the story from Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan.

In the Zaatari Refugee Camp, 85,000 Syrian refugees live in tents that are ill-equipped for winter weather. The government cut of aid to refugees due to the rising costs of absorbing the steady stream of refugees from Syria.

“You can’t just give some favorable treatment to non-Jordanians while your nationals are queuing for some form of operations or surgical matters,” Ibrahim Saif, Jordan’s minister of planning and international cooperation said.

The cuts, along with a decrease in food aid from the World Food Program, are hitting people hard.

The aid organizations running the Zaatari camp guaranteed that medical benefits will not end. Even so, lack of electricity and the freezing cold temperatures the refugees experience can only increase disease and illness.

Medical professionals at the camp’s District Eight emergency clinic see 350 patients a day, almost 20 percent of the district’s population.

Physicians treat common winter ailments, such as flu, pneumonia, asthma, and bronchitis.

The U.N.-funded clinic is equipped to deliver basic medical care including triage, IV infusions for a dehydrated patients, and inhalation therapy for toddlers with breathing complications, but physicians worry they may not be able to handle the future caseload.