Stakeholders discuss irregular migrants’ access to healthcare

On 1 March, the FRA hosted a stakeholder meeting on access to healthcare for irregular migrants, focusing on FRA research findings. The 40 participants were mostly medical professionals from the countries covered by the FRA research (Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain and Sweden). 

Government officials and representatives of international organisations and NGO also attended. Participants highlighted the right to health as laid down in international legal frameworks. Given the medical profession's code of ethics the health professionals argued in favour of providing access to necessary healthcare for irregular migrants on the same basis as nationals.

The participants also wanted to know more about the societal costs of delaying health services until the situation becomes acute for migrants. They argued for state funds for healthcare to migrants with clear reimbursement rules for health providers.

They also suggested limiting qualifying conditions for healthcare to only what is necessary to guarantee continuity of care, such as proof of identity. A clear separation between the immigration law enforcement and the health sector was also called for. Health professionals and staff working in the health sector should therefore refrain from any exchanging data with immigration law enforcement officials.

For more information see FRA report, Migrants in an irregular situation: access to healthcare in 10 European Union Member States (October 2011).

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Agenda

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FRA Summary Conclusion Health meeting

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