Right to health and access to health-care services for refugees in Turkey

Authors: N. Ela Gokalp Aras, Sertan Kabadayı, Emir Ozeren and Erhan Aydin

A new article of our consultants (Emir Ozeren and Erhan Aydin) was published in Journal of Services Marketing. The journal is indexed in SSCI and 2* based on Chartered Association of Business Schools, UK. The abstract of this paper is stated as follows: 

Purpose: This paper aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of factors that contribute to refugees’ exclusion from health-care services. More specifically, using institutional theory, this paper identifies regulative pillar-, normative pillar- and cultural/cognitive pillar-related challenges that result in refugees having limited or no access to health-care services.

Design / Methodology/ Approach: The paper draws on both secondary research and empirical insights from two qualitative fieldwork studies totaling 37 semi-structured meso-level interviews, observations and focus groups in three Turkish cities (Izmir, Ankara and Edirne), as well as a total of 42 micro-level, semi-structured interviews with refugees and migrants in one large city (Izmir) in Turkey.

Findings: This study reveals that systematically stratified legal statuses result in different levels of access to public health-care services for migrants, asylum seekers or refugees based on their fragmented protection statuses. The findings suggest access to health-care is differentiated not only between local citizens and refugees but also among the refugees and migrants based on their legal status as shaped by their country of origin.

Originality/Value: While the role of macro challenges such as laws and government regulations in shaping policies about refugees have been examined in other fields, the impact of such factors on refugee services and well-being has been largely ignored in service literature in general, as well as transformative service research literature in particular. This study is one of the first attempts by explicitly including macro-level factors to contribute to the discussion on the refugees’ access to public health-care services in a host country by relying on the institutional theory by providing a holistic understanding of cognitive, normative and regulative factors in understanding service exclusion problem.