Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Experiences of Iraqi doctors in Jordan during conflict and factors associated with migration

Shannon Doocy, PhD, Sana Malik, MPH, Gilbert Burnham, MD, PhD

Abstract


Objectives: To document the experiences of Iraqi doctors residing in Jordan before departure from Iraq and to assess factors associated with migration.
Methods: Respondent-driven sampling was used to obtain information from 401 Iraqi doctors arriving in Jordan after the invasion of 2003. Three seeds were used and chains were carried out to 10-11 waves of respondents; interviews were carried out either in person or by mobile phone.
Results: Migration of Iraqi doctors to Jordan peaked in 2006; 94 percent of doctors were from Baghdad and 25 percent had been internally displaced before migration to Jordan. Departure from Iraq was associated with a violent event in 61 percent (confidence interval [CI]: 56-65) of cases and 75 percent (CI: 70-79) of doctor households experienced a violent event before migration. Kidnappings or assassination attempts were reported by 17 percent (CI: 25-34) of doctors; male sex and older age were significantly associated with increased risk in multivariate models. Only 30 percent (CI: 25-34) of doctors reported they have plan to return to Iraq when the conflict is over and 6 percent (CI: 4-9) reported planning to return to Iraq within a year; the majority (52 percent, CI: 47-57) planned to settle in a third country.
Conclusions: Iraq has lost many of its doctors as a result of the conflict, and the majority of those displaced in Jordan have no plans to return. The human capital losses associated with the large-scale displacement of Iraqi doctors are substantial and have left a critical void in human capital that will likely impact the health system for decades.


Keywords


Iraq, conflict, violence, doctors, migration, human capital

Full Text:

PDF

References


Burnham G, Malik S, Dhari A, et al.: The impact of conflict on health services in Iraq. Am J Public Health. (submitted).

Burnham G, Lafta R, Doocy S: Doctors leaving 12 tertiary hospitals in Iraq, 2004-2007. Soc Sci Med. 2009; 69: 172-177.

The Brookings Institution: Iraq index. Available at http://www. brookings.edu/saban/iraq-index.aspx. Accessed May 29, 2009.

Kaplow L: Iraq, the doctors are out. Newsweek. 2008; 152: 46-47.

UN OCHA: Iraq: Armed groups occupy hospitals and kidnap doctors. IRIN. Available at http://www.irinnews.org/PrintReport.aspx? ReportId _ 70139. Accessed June 1, 2009.

MEDACT: The Iraq health crisis. Report of a one day conference organized by the Iraq Medical Association in collaboration with Medact.Available at http://www.medact.org/content/wmd_and_conflict/ Iraq%20Health%20Crisis%20Conference%20Report%20final.doc. Accessed December 10, 2008.

Miller T: Shortages in doctors, medicine, and facilities plague Iraqi health system. The Online NewsHour.Available at http://www. pbs.org/newshour/indepthcoverage/middle_east/iraq/janjune07/ infrastructure_02-02.html. Accessed May 29, 2009.

Kronfol NM, Sibai AM, Rafeh N: The impact of civil disturbances on the migration of physicians: The case of Lebanon. Med Care. 1992; 30: 208-215.

Zarocostas J: Exodus of medical staff strains Iraq’s health infrastructure. BMJ. 2007; 334: 865.

International Relief Information Network (IRIN): Iraq: Doctors stull unable to work normally in Baghdad Suburb. Available at http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId_77643. Accessed May 29, 2009.

Broadhead RS, Heckathorn DD,Weakliem DL, et al.: Harnessing peer networks as an instrument for AIDS prevention: Results from a peer-driven intervention. Public Health Rep. 1998; 113 (Suppl 1): 42-57.

Broadhead RS, Heckathorn DD, Altice FL, et al.: Increasing drug users’ adherence to HIV treatment: Results of a peer-driven intervention feasibility study. Soc Sci Med. 2002; 55: 235-246.

Wang J, Carlson RG, Falck RS, et al.: Respondent-driven sampling to recruit MDMA users: A methodological assessment. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2005; 78: 147-157.

Doocy S, Sirois A: The health status of Iraqis in Jordan. Report submitted to UNICEF Amman, May 2009.

Doocy S, Burnham G: Iraqis in Syria. Report submitted to International Catholic Migration Commission, May 2009.

Voelker R: Iraq targets basic health needs. JAMA. 2004; 292: 1415-1416.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/ajdm.2010.0005

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.