Dr. Ido Lurie, volunteer, medical manager of the Open Clinic: My work at the Open Clinic at Physicians for Human Rights is marked by a combination of plenty of satisfaction and plenty of frustration. Patients who are refugees fall out of the hospital system and come to us for various reasons, such as the language barrier, lack of knowledge, problems of communication and lack of medical insurance, while the hospitals, and not us, are those who are able and equipped to provide them with appropriate treatment. I expect that the health system, that encounters them, to express its protest loud and clear – and not leave us to be the only ones calling out for a humane and civic solution that will guarantee the refugees just access to health services and adequate medical treatment. As a doctor specializing in mental health, I must add that this kind of treatment, especially for those who suffered the torture and pains of the journey, must be culturally sensitive and include mental and social support.
The treatment of refugee reveals the harm caused by the inequality in access to health care. As doctors we are accustomed to think that anyone can receive proper medical treatment, but the truth is that it just isn’t so. The Open Clinic is always in need of volunteers from various medical specializations, as well as translators and administrative assistants.